The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival has announced that it will make history by hosting the 10th edition of the Mr Gay World competition in Knysna in May 2018.
This will be the third time that South Africa has presented the prestigious event; a world first. It will also be the second time that the contest will be held during the Pink Loerie, Africa’s biggest LGBTIQ+ cultural festival.
Eric Butter, President of Mr Gay World, revealed that three other cities had expressed interest in hosting the next Mr Gay World, but “when the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival Knysna 2018 came forward I couldn’t have been more overjoyed.”
He explained: “The 10th Mr Gay World marks a milestone and is very important for our organisation. We have worked with the team in South Africa twice and it has always been a great pleasure; they have the very best work ethic and they always deliver a world class event.”
Butter added: “We also decided on South Africa because we wanted the international community to support the rebuilding of Knysna after the devastating fires in June by incorporating it with the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival Knysna 2018.”
Since the blazes ravaged the region, the Pink Loerie organisers have played an active role in raising funds, sourcing material assistance and bringing awareness about the crisis in order to bolster the local community.
This was acknowledged by the Executive Mayor of Knysna, Eleanore Bouw-Spies, who thanked the festival for its efforts. She and the Knysna Municipality also enthusiastically welcomed the town’s hosting of Mr Gay World 2018 as a further boost to its recovery.
“I do not hesitate in throwing my support behind this initiative and categorically state this event carries my full endorsement,” said Bouw-Spies.
“With the added benefit of hosting Mr Gay World, the 2018 Pink Loerie will, without a doubt, lure more visitors to our legendary LGBTIQ+ festival and beautiful area.”
Bouw-Spies continued: “Greater Knysna will receive much-needed national and international exposure, proving to the world that we are most definitely ‘open for business’ despite the terrible tragedy of the recent fires.”
Knysna Tourism has also added its support to the Pink Loerie Festival and Mr Gay World 2018, expressing its “delight” at the news that the town will once again host a notable international event.
“Mr Gay World will undoubtedly be an exciting addition to the Pink Loerie Festival and the Knysna 2018 events calendar and we are looking forward to assisting with promoting it to visitors and residents,” said Jeannine Orzechowski, Knysna Tourism PR Manager.
South Africa has a proud history with Mr Gay World, winning the title twice; in 2010 and in 2011. The country also hosted the contest in 2012 (Johannesburg) and in 2015 (Knysna), with much success.
John Raspado from the Philippines is the current title holder (Pic: Joy Arguil)
Mr Gay World 2018 will run from Sunday, 20 May to Sunday, 27 May, with the grand finale taking place on Saturday, 26 May, 2018 at Villa Castollini in Knysna. Tickets will go on sale from 1 February, 2018.
The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival 2018 Knysna will be held from Thursday, 24 May to Sunday, 27 May, 2018.
About Mr Gay World
Mr Gay World is an annual global competition to find a spokesperson who best represents the finest qualities of the gay community and embodies the spirit of his nation. It is also an international platform where gay men from across the world come together to share their stories. The title holder not only carries the inner qualities of confidence, self-assurance, charisma and natural leadership but also takes pride and care in his outward appearance. The 10th edition of Mr Gay World takes place in Knysna, South Africa from 20 to 27 May, 2018. The 2018 contest’s logo was adapted by Samara Reyneke and Tony Ferreira.
About Pink Loerie
The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) culture and identity and takes place in the picturesque Western Cape town of Knysna. Now in its 18th year, the festival hosts a series of cultural, entertainment and community fundraising events that celebrate and empower the LGBTIQ+ community and the region. The 2018 event will run from 24 to 27 May.