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After weeks of guessing, the theme of the 2018 Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival has been revealed in Knysna. Slap & Tickle couldn't make it - it's Sequins & Mascara!

SMAt the launch of the 2018 Pink Loerie, held at the spectacular Villa Castollini that overlooks the whole of Knysna, the theme and some of the plans for 2018 were revealed. In attendance was Georlene Wolmarans, Speaker of the Knysna Municipality, local businesses and other dignitaries who were curious to hear what the S&M theme is all about. Entertained by drag artist Corné, as well as singers Tanja Storm and Bea Crawford, the guests were also eager to find out more about the programme for the next edition of this annual event.

The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival has become something of an institution in the Eden District of the Western Cape. It used to be held during the long weekend in April, but because so many events take place over the same period, the organizing committee and Knysna Tourism Association sat down and looked at the calendar to find another date which is not as congested. After the devastating fires a few months ago, it is crucial that an event like this continues, as it helps #KnysnaRises. And so the decision was made to find a more suitable date, which means that next year the Pink Loerie will take place 24 – 27 May.

Hendrik Baird, Station Manager at GaySA Radio, publicist and media partner to this event, revealed the plans, stressing that some of these were still awaiting approval from the Municipality. It all kicks off on Thursday 24 May with a cocktail party at Knysna Fine Art, where Petronel Baard will be performing. This will be followed by a Bears, Beer and Drag event at Mitchells’ Breweries. The newly refurbished Vinyl on Main (the old Club Zanzibar) will host the Meet and Greet Party to make sure everybody knows each other to ensure maximum enjoyment of the weekend.

The programme continues on the Friday with an outreach event at the Loeriehof Old Age Home, Vermont Retirement Village, Paula Whitney Crèche and KAWS (Knysna Animal Welfare), followed by a lunchtime show presented by Storm Productions. The VIP Fundraising Dinner and Fundraising Auction will be hosted at Villa Castollini, while the very popular Mr & Miss Gay Mardi Gras will take place at Vinyl on Main. This will be followed by the official S&M Party at the same venue.

The Saturday kicks off with two events being PinkFootFWD for Brenton, a fun morning filled with sport activities and music as well as the Pink Loerie #KnysnaRises Fundraising Concert at the Loerie Park Sport Stadium, which will feature a number of drag acts and musicians, including rock outfit Rebel Remedy and artist Gaston. This event is presented in association with Knysna Tourism, GaySA Radio, Storm Productions, CB Entertainment and Mix Academy Entertainment. The very popular street parade starts at 3 pm and will move from Queen Street to Pledge Square and back, hopefully followed by a street party (if Council agrees to it.) Drydock Food Co. will host an After Parade Sunset Ibiza Party for the more mature in the crowd, while the official after party is at Vinyl on Main.

Plans are afoot for a mini gospel show on the Sunday. GaySA Radio is also planning to bring a few theatre performances to the event, and more details about these will be released in due course.

So what is the S&M theme all about? Most people immediate think whips and chains, but it was revealed that the theme is actually Sequins and Mascara! It looks like Gay May in Knysna is going to be dazzling! Are we going to see you there?

Video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/ST5omjtfBF4

For more information and bookings, visit www.pinkloerie.co.za

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