A billboard promoting the upcoming Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival at the entrance to Knysna has been vandalised.
Erected on behalf of the event by Knysna Tourism, the damaged panel displays the mardi gras’ logo along with this year’s theme byline “Celebrate Life”.
“We were alerted yesterday by our design company in Knysna that someone had painted black paint over the words ‘Pink Loerie’ on the billboard,” said Coenie Kukkuk, one of the event’s organisers.
“The advertisement has been up for more than a month and no objections were raised against it. It contains only wording and there is no reason for anyone to take offence,” he said.
Knysna Tourism is one of the sponsors of the 2011 “Foreplay Energy Drink Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival in association with Southern Comfort” – the official name of the annual gay and lesbian festival that is set to take place next week in Kynsna.
According to Kukkuk, Knysna Tourism has agreed to replace the panel on the billboard.
“Ironically,” he noted, “the [vandals] chose to black out only the words ‘Pink Loerie’ and left the theme ‘Celebrate Life!’ And we shall obviously proceed to ‘celebrate life’ during the festival without interruption.”
“We know that we have the support of the majority of Knysna residents as ultimately they and our chosen six local charities, such as Loeriehof Old Age home and Masezame Art Project, benefit,” Kukkuk added.
The mayor, Councillor Eleanore Bowe-Spies, said in a message to the organising committee, which will be published in the Pink Loerie News:
“We all know that the Pink Loerie brings a glimmer of glamour to the town of Knysna each year and this year promises to be even better and brighter with an added extra arts element which is sure to broaden the scope and reach of our beloved Loerie.”
In the past, the festival has come under fire from a minority of the town’s residents, led primarily by Christian groups.
Click here for more details on the 2011 Pink Loerie Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival.