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The South Australian Lesbian and Gay community's Feast Festival has finally come of age, turning 18 years old this year. From a small and humble start it has blossomed into a national festival, attracting tourists from all about Australia.
Over the years the Feast Festival has grown more inclusive, bringing bisexuals, transgendered, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people on board as well as heterosexuals. Barriers are breaking down between communities as the mainstream population overwhelmingly accept that lesbian and gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else - including marriage.
Let Gertrude Glossip Lead You Astray at the Art Gallery of South Australia
But the Feast Festival has always has always aimed to bridge the divide, and pretty much everybody will be happy to fly with this years theme INDULGE. With around 100 fabulous events and fun things to do in Adelaide and the regions of South Australia, where do you start?
There is an astonishing range of events happening this year at Feast, from food to film, church to chocolate, and pool parties to underwear parties. Even the suburbs haven't been forgotten with fun things to do in Port Adelaide, Unley, Mount Barker and the Adelaide Hills. In the regions of South Australia both Mount Gambier and Port Augusta get their own special Feast events too.
Read on for a brief guide to my personal choice highlights from the Feast Festival program.
Dykes on Bikes Come to the Feast Festival From All About Australia
Pride March The Pride March leads the Feast Festival program, with a colourful display as this LGBTIQ parade leaves Victoria Square in Adelaide. It then winds its way down Gouger St, Morphett St, around Light Square and into Hindley St West as the Opening Night Party kicks off. After the long march, you will surely be ready to party. (Free).
Opening Night Party This year the Opening Night Party part is taking over Hindley St West, with dedicated Feast bars, community stalls, and food from many of your favourite Fork on the Road food truck vendors. Eat well, because Adelaide's DJ Josh will keep you dancing until 1am when the After Party kicks off at Caos Cafe Bar until who knows when! ($10 entry)
The Feast Festival Indulge Lounge is Located in the Lion Arts Centre Courtyard
The Indulge Lounge at the Lion Arts Centre is just the place to relax and meet friends before or after a show. The decadent delights will indeed tempt you to indulge in the manner of a king or queen (whatever your gender). (Free entry)
Queers on Queen Street Queen Street is so trendy that just being seen there guarantees you a mention in The Advertiser social pages. I fear that this free retro street party is only going to make matters even worse - but if retro fashion parades, roving performers, and tempting treats from market stalls are your thing, then what can I do to stop you? (Free)
Plunge Pool Party Pull on your budgie smugglers and bikinis and pop in to Unley Swimming Centre's heated pools for an exciting afternoon of aerobic and ocular exercise. There'll be races, synchronised swimming displays, and when you're exhausted, a chance to have few bevvies at the Swimming Club next door with your new friends. (Not free).
Get Into Hot Water With Lesbian and Gay People at the Unley Swimming Centre Pool
Gallery Yampu in the old Sailing Club on the Port River will be the venue for local performers Lori Bell, Beau Heartbreaker, Bobby Macumber, Thomas Jaspers, John Cameron and Granny Flaps. This fabulous show will be a raucous evening of music and comedy, and the bar facilities will indubitably make it even more bawdy.
Food, Art, Desire
Join legendary character Dr Gertrude Glossip in her finest formal frock as she flounces and frolics through the Art Gallery of South Australia to the Banquet Room. Get stuffed on sumptuous snacks while champagne bubbles permeate the porous portion of your cerebellum. Listen to lusty language as literary lights educate you about things that you won't remember the next morning. ($150)
Don't Jump Your Partner, Ride a Mechanical Bull Instead at Picnic on the Park
DJ Josh 30th Anniversary: The Retro Years
DJ Josh is an Adelaide legend with a close association with the iconic Mars Bar, Adelaide's longest running lesbian and gay nightclub. Join her back at the Mars Bar for a night of retro music and lots of decadent dancing that will keep you up till daybreak. ($16.50)
Picnic in the Park
The Picnic in the Park seems to change location every time I go to the Feast Festival, and this year it's at Pinky Flat across the River Torrens from the convention centre. Don't worry though, the traditional tug of war with the Metropolitan Fire Service is still on the agenda, together with the adults only lube wrestling, and your chance to ride a mechanical bull. Best not done after a few drinks. ($10 entry)
Lube Wrestling, One of the Fun Things to Do at Feast Festival Pinic in the Park
And there's more!
I could write so much more but it won't get me a better score from my editor, so why don't you do the hard work and download the program guide? There is such a range of fun things to do that I can't possibly cover them all here anyway.
That's all the highlights you're getting - have fun, and don't forget to spill all the goss in the comments!