Married life starts at end of festival

Edgar Allan Caper and James Contemplacion tie the knot during Winter Pride. Photos: Supplied
Edgar Allan Caper and James Contemplacion tie the knot during Winter Pride. Photos: Supplied
A filipino couple found the perfect way to celebrate the end of Winter Pride, tying the knot on the final full day of a festival that has turned Queenstown into a haven of love and inclusion.

Saturday marked the last full day of Winter Pride, and a final farewell brunch  ended things  in style yesterday.Support for the festival has been overwhelming, with rainbow flags in almost every shop window, and people turning out in droves.

For Edgar Allan Caper (37) and James Contemplacion (28), it was the perfect chance to show their commitment.

The pair flew from the Philippines with six friends to get married at Cecil Peak, overlooking Lake Wakatipu.

Mr Caper said they wanted to celebrate their wedding on the fifth anniversary of the day they met.

"We also learned that the town is celebrating a week-long Winter Pride event. It makes it a perfect way to celebrate equality and our love for each other."

To say they were feeling happy would be an understatement, he said.

"It was more a fulfilment of lifelong dream, to have a life partner and committing to each other and legally seal our vows."

Winter Pride revellers enjoy the powder at Cardrona on Saturday. Photo: Daisy Hudson
Winter Pride revellers enjoy the powder at Cardrona on Saturday. Photo: Daisy Hudson
Festival co-organiser Martin King was over the moon at how the festival went.

He and co-organiser Mike Hughes took over the former Gay Ski Week this year, rebranding it  Winter Pride.Feedback had been hugely positive, and some revellers had called it "the best week of their lives", Mr King said.

There were no issues or incidents organisers were aware of, he said.

"Queenstown’s proven we can host a pride festival of this level."

A final tally of money raised for charity was still to be done, but two events alone raised more than $3000, Mr King said.Free HIV testing was also available during the week.

Mr King said he did not know exact numbers, but believed uptake had been good.

He is already looking ahead to next year.

"It’s gonna go to a whole new level."

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