The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival, in association with Triarc, will once again paint the picturesque town of Knysna many shades of pink in 2015 – possibly with a very unique twist.
Now in its 15th year, South Africa’s most fabulous annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) festival is set to take place from Wednesday 29 April to Sunday 3 May 2015.
In addition to the cultural, entertainment, charity and other events that revellers have come to expect at the Pink Loerie, next year could also see the festival include the international Mr Gay World™ competition in its line-up.
Coenie Kukkuk, Mr Gay World™ Director for Africa & Middle East, confirms that Pink Loerie Mardi Gras Festivals Southern Africa CC has put in a bid to host Mr Gay World™ 2015 during the festival.
“If the bid is successful, Mr Gay World™ 2015 will be co-hosted in Knysna and Cape Town, with the Grand Finale taking place in the Mother City on Sunday 3 May 2015,” he says.
“Our bid has the advantage of incorporating the planning, infrastructure and participants that we will already have in place for the Pink Loerie – and who could argue with holding the spectacular finale in one of the world’s most beautiful gay tourism capitals?” adds Pink Loerie Co-ordinator John O’Neil.
South Africa previously hosted Mr Gay World™ with great success when the contest was held in Johannesburg in 2012. South African contestants won Mr Gay World™ in 2010 and 2011, and came second in 2012. Last year’s winner, New Zealander Chris Olwage, was born and grew up in South Africa.
Triarc, Africa’s first specialist gay insurance provider, has not only partnered with the Pink Loerie Festival for next year’s event, but will also cover the organising committee’s travel costs to present their bid at Mr Gay World™ 2014 in Rome in August.
“After having an awesome brand launch at the Pink Loerie in 2014, Triarc jumped at the opportunity to support the organising committee’s bid to bring the Mr Gay World™ 2015 competition to South Africa again,” says Triarc’s Jaco Nepgen.
Triarc plans to launch a variety of life insurance products to the gay community in July 2014. Being a gay owned company, the Triarc team designed its products specifically around the unique requirements of the gay market and is hard at work creating brand awareness at various LGBTI events around the country with lots of giveaways and prizes.
“We believe we have a fabulous opportunity to raise the profile of LGBTI people in our country and want to empower our clients to also raise their own personal financial profiles through the products and advice that we will offer them,” explains Nepgen. “Without the support of the LGBTI community we will not achieve any of these objectives, so it is vitality important for us to earn the trust and respect of our fellow boys and girls.”
Members of the LGBTI community are urged to diarise Wednesday 29 April to Sunday 3 May 2015 for what promises to be a truly memorable edition of the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival, in association with Triarc.
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I am the Black Swan, a version of my story by Christopher Olwage, Mr Gay World 2013