The 2009 Cape Town Pride Festival reached its climax on Saturday with a parade through the city’s streets and various after-parties.
Hundreds of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender marchers of all ages, hues and sizes, along with family, friends and supporters walked through the centre of the Mother City, on a sweltering hot day.
The parade was led by the Cape Town Pride float, which was followed by colourful and imaginative floats from various organisations, bars and clubs.
While organisers claimed around 5,000 people took part in the parade, a number of participants expressed some disappointment with the turnout of supporters along the route.
The parade ended at the Prestwich School on the periphery of Cape Town’s ‘Pink Block’ where revellers attended the Pride Carnival. The celebration included a line-up of live entertainment such as the Hip Fusion Belly Dancers, DJ Tony Morris from New York, drag artistes Lola Fine and Victoria Caballaire, and Cape Town’s classic kwaito fusion band CODA.
Despite discontent from some local gay organisations who were offended by this year’s theme “Pink Ubuntu: Jou ma se Pride”, and who also called for a boycott of the festival, attendance over the 16 day-long festival was not affected, said organisers.
They reported that the various events, which included the Pride Pageant, the annual Red Party, The Fetish and Underwear Party, the Beach Picnic and more serious events such as seminars and a Women’s Open Mic Night, were well supported by Cape Town’s queer community.