Joburg will be painted a bright shade of pink, with the help of 5FM, this Saturday 6 October when the city celebrates Gay Pride in style with the 18th Annual Joburg Pride Parade and Party in the Park. And best of all, it’s all free!
According to Joburg Pride organisers, all is in place to ensure a slick and memorable event. “We’ve confirmed over 30 floats and vehicles in the parade, and anticipate a fantastic afternoon of post-parade entertainment at Zoo Lake Sports Club for the gay community and their friends and family,” says Pride Chairperson Tracey Sandilands.
Thousands are expected to attend this year’s event – in part thanks to Pride’s new media partner, national youth radio station 5FM, which will be sending its celebrity DJs – including Elana Afrika, Nicole Fox, Poppy Ntshongwana and Roger Goode – to MC, DJ and party with the gay community.
“Our partnership with 5FM reflects our aim to make Pride an event for all of Joburg’s citizens who wish to celebrate and protect our diversity and constitutional values,” says Sandilands.
The 2007 Joburg Pride day will kick off at Zoo Lake Sports Club with a performance by sizzling dance trio Flash Republic at 10am. Following a minute’s silence to honour the recent victims of hate crimes, the Parade will get underway at 11am, taking a circular route through Rosebank. Soft-drink and water points will be provided for marchers and pets. The Parade is expected to return to Zoo Lake Sports Club at around 12.30pm after which participants will be entertained by a host of musical acts.
Performers scheduled for the Pride stage include up-and-coming band Running With Scissors, hot new songstress Lira, Afrikaans Idols runner-up Willem Botha, R&B star Tumi and legendary DJ Stuart Hillary.
There will be plenty of food stalls as well as bars to cater for hungry and thirsty revellers. Community organisations will also be present to answer questions about their activities – and expect to see the much-anticipated “Drag-Race” in which the city’s most fabulous divas will take part.
A children’s area with a jumping castle will be provided to entertain the younger Pride-participants, and even SARS will be attending with a stall to assist pink taxpayers with any tax related queries at no charge.
The event will end at 5pm and revellers are urged to then head home to prepare for other night-time events held around the city.
The organisers emphasise that without the endorsement and support of the City of Joburg, Pride 2007 would not have been possible. “We thank the city for their extensive partnership and for supplying their resources and services to the event. We’re also very grateful for the assistance of Joburg Metro Police, Joburg Roads Agency and the South African Police Service,” says Tanya Harford, Head of Logistics on the Joburg Pride Board.
This year, a number of generous sponsors – including Douglas Green Bellingham (DGB), Amalgamated Beverages Industries (ABI) and SA Breweries – have also acknowledged the immense value of the gay and lesbian market by supporting Joburg Pride 2007.
“Our aim is not only to put on a fantastic day of celebration and activism that will be long remembered, but to also build a strong foundation for even better future Pride events,” says Sandilands.
For more information about Joburg Pride visit www.joburgpride.org.