The seventh annual gay and lesbian Knysna Pink Loerie festival and mardi-gras, held this long weekend, has been dubbed a “the best ever” by the organiser.

According to Juan Lerm, who is also one of the originators of the event, an estimated 8 000 to 10 000 people flocked to the picturesque coastal town over the weekend.

Speaking to Mambaonline on Monday, Lerm said that, “This is without the doubt – the best ever – because of the long weekend. It’s still buzzing: people are still here. It’s fabulous.”

He said that the highlight of the six day event was Saturday’s parade through the main street in Knysna which attracted thousands of participants and spectators.

He also noted the success of the Electric Circus party – featuring performance artists and live musicians – hosted by Pretoria nightclub Legends. According to Lerm, there was a queue around the block to get into Zanzibar where Saturday night’s Electric Circus party was held.

Legends owner Fulvio De Stefanis said that, “Our party turnout was great. The reaction to the performances was incredible. It was not a run of the mill party.”

De Stefanis – a Pink Loerie first-timer – added that he was also surprised by the size of the parade: “The most impressive thing was how the Knysna community got involved in participating in the parade. It was jam-packed – not just gay people, but the entire community.”

Lerm agreed that there was ever-increasing support from the town’s population: “It’s no longer seen as a freak-show. People have become used to it now and see it just as a great party.”

Many businesses supported the festival by decking out store windows with pink feathers and offering Pink Loerie related specials at restaurants and bars.

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

Did you attend the Pink Loerie Festival this year – or in previous years? Tell us below what you think of the event.

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