The festival is an event for the whole community.
The original concept for the 2011 Bay Pride Festival was to āraise community awareness of the high number of youth suicides in the Bay of Plentyā.
The committee who have convened for the Bay Pride Festival comprises of individuals who are gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transgender and multicultural, representing communities within the wider Bay of Plenty.
The group came about after Graeme Cribb (aka Ma Ma Laid) was regularly being approached by various individuals and organisations in the local area in who were looking for support and information.
Because we have a high number of youth suicides related to sexuality issues, Graeme spoke to a number of social organisations and trusts, MPās, local council, Maori Trusts, doctors, guidance counsellors, citizens advice bureau, as well as friends and personal contacts to see if there was any help out there. With little luck locally, Graeme started contacting National organisations.
After no success, Graeme started inviting individuals from the community to form the BAY PRIDE committee.
Since the initial concept, the festival has truly evolved into a huge celebration of diversity here in the Bay of Plenty. The festival has gained support from our Chinese, Philippine & Cook Island communities. We are awaiting further responses from other groups invited.
The Bay Pride Festival committee want to raise awareness in a positive, family friendly way.
The Bay Pride Festival committee believes that through positive representation and visible role models within our local community, this will help āat riskā members of our community feel more comfortable with themselves.
At risk behaviour can stem from poor selfāesteem, lack of respect for oneās self and others. Once you move away from the main centres in New Zealand, there is little resource or information readily available for youth starting out on their journey.
Educating the youth (and wider community), before āat riskā behaviour becomes the ānormā in regards to safe sexual practices and healthy lifestyle choices is the foundation to creating a healthy community.
The Bay Pride Festival was an event originally aimed at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community. However, the festival is all about celebrating the diverse community we share and live in within the Bay of Plenty, and giving our (the Queer) community a positive face to the wider community.
The Bay Pride Festival is first and foremost all about having fun, our community being able to laugh at itself, sharing, being more open minded and a wee bit educational in a light hearted way.
The Bay Pride Festival is not only a festival for the gay community, but celebrates the diverse nature of our wider community. Anyone is welcome to attend, so invite your mum, dad, brother, sister, friendsā¦ anyone important to you, that you would like to share this day.
The Bay Pride Festival is a family day out with friends beginning at midday at the Rotorua All Seasons Holiday Park 50 ā 58 Lee Road Hannahās Bay. There is accommodation and camping sites available to rent and plenty of space to bring your own picnic and wine. There will be food stalls but no alcohol will be sold.
Donāt be frightened by our Drag Queens, they are all kind hearted. The Queens will be there to host, entertain plus look āfabulousā with many a costume change throughout the day.
We plan to have the day filled with performance on stage, competitions and activities to keep the young ones entertained. Face painting, best dressed fairies / princesses and a best dressed pet competition
The Bay Pride Festival will create a nonāthreatening safe environment, where resources and information will be easily available, with a definite Queer focus.
This is an all inclusive event, to showcase the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community in a positive and fun environment.
The New Zealand AIDS Foundation is supporting the event with their āget it onā campaign promoting safe sex. Bay Pride Festival is based loosely on the āBig Gay Outā event held in Auckland each February.
The day festival will end around 5.00pm. However, the celebrations will continue into the early hours of the following morning at a After Party in town were a DJ and drag show performances will entertain.
The Bay of Plenty Pride Festival committee organizing the event are inviting expressions of interest from stall holders, food stands, entertainers, buskers and other community organizations.
Funds raised from this event will be used for a gay youth group, and parents and family support group, and to formalise the committee as an Incorporated Society.