Hundreds of South African gays and lesbians took part in the sixth Pink Loerie celebrations in the picturesque coastal town of Knysna on the weekend. Despite the cold weather there was a reasonable turnout for the parade through the town’s main street.

Floats promoted causes – such as animal welfare and HIV/AIDS awareness – as well as local guesthouses, while town residents also took part in the festivities, lining the street and waving pink feathers.

Hundreds of visitors from Cape Town and Johannesburg came to the town for a long weekend that included popular nightly dance parties and other planned events such as underwear shows and photographic exhibitions.

A number of scheduled events didn’t take place due to lack of interest, with some commenting that planning was not quite up to scratch. Performers such as drag artist Dainti Delischia, singer Daniele Pascal and actress Lizz Meiring all performed shows at the Loerie festival.

Gennaro Pisapia, a first time visitor from Joburg thought that some of the activities were “disappointing”, but added that “the town makes a lot of effort; Knysna makes up for it”.

The Pink Loerie Festival was established to develop tourism in Knysna during the traditionally quiet autumn season and has become an anticipated annual event on the town’s calendar.

Many residents and businesses in the town supported the four day festival of all things gay by decking out store windows with pink feathers and offering Pink Loerie related specials at restaurants and bars. Even the Waterfront shopping center’s fountains were coloured pink for the weekend.

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