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GAY & LESBIAN PRIDE NEWS

Coming of Age: Joburg Pride 2007

A new kind of pride


September 20, 2007

JOHANNESBURG — Joburg Pride is set to come of age on 6 October 2007 when the annual event celebrates its 18th anniversary. Participants can look forward to a day of smoothly organised celebration and commemoration of South Africa's constitutional freedoms.

Tanya Harford, well-known for putting on large public sporting events, is heading up logistics on the day. She is excited by the support given to organisers by the City of Joburg and other role players, adding that "this year we can expect to have a truly cohesive event, which lays the foundation to ensure that Joburg Pride becomes one of the city's leading annual events."

The customary colourful parade is scheduled to start at 11am from Zoo Lake Sports Club. Chart-topping electronica band Flash Republic will perform live on stage from 10am, officially kicking off the parade at the end of their set. A minute's silence will be observed to mark the recent brutal murder of two lesbians in Meadowlands, as well as acknowledging all victims of hate-crimes.

The parade, with over 16 floats confirmed at the time of going to press and more expected to register, will make its way through the streets of Rosebank. For the first time, soft-drink and water points will be provided for marchers, so bring your children and pets to join in the fun. The parade will take a circular route, returning to Zoo Lake Sports Club at around 1pm, when the celebration is set to continue.

"We hope that Pride is not perceived as being exclusive to lesbians and gays," says Joburg Pride chair Tracey Sandilands. "We welcome everyone who believes in a culture of equal rights and personal freedom to take part or to cheer on the marchers and enjoy the fun and spectacle of the day. Bring the family and your friends," she urges.

A number of top entertainers, including 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 have confirmed that they will be performing live at the Joburg Pride "Party in the Park". More performers will be announced closer to the event date. Entry to the day's events is free of charge.

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."

A children's area with a jumping castle will be provided to entertain the younger Pride-participants. "Gays and lesbians are part of our social fabric; it's about time that we acknowledge that many of us have children and extended families who should also be welcomed at Pride," said Sandilands.

The event will end at 5pm and revellers are urged to leave the park by 6pm and head home to prepare for other night-time events held around the city. "In order for us to continue to use the fantastic Zoo Lake venue, we must respect the local residents," explains Harford.

This year sees Joburg Pride being backed by the City of Joburg, alcohol brand Flex Bender and Dutch funding NGO, Hivos. Leading national radio station 5FM has also come on-board as Pride's media sponsor.

The Joburg Pride Festival Week launches on Thursday 27 September and will conclude on Saturday 6 October with the Parade and 'Party in the Park' at Zoo Lake Sports Club. For more information on JOBURG PRIDE 2007, visit the official website at www.joburgpride.org. – Issued by Joburg Pride Company


  • About the Joburg Gay Pride Festival Company

    Joburg Pride 2007 is being organised by a newly-formed not-for-profit Section 21 Company, which is run by a board of volunteers. The company � named the Joburg Gay Pride Festival Company � was officially registered on 9 May 2007. This is an unprecedented occasion in the history of Joburg Pride; one which reflects the board�s commitment to sustainability and transparency.


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