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Queenstown’s Winter Pride festival turned emotional at yesterday’s Pride in the Park event, as a Queenstown teen drag queen made her debut in front of a cheering audience.
Clad in bright colours, a floral wig and bold makeup, Ivana Dance sashayed across the stage to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
After wrapping up her performance to raucous applause from the crowd, she told host and TV personality Aziz Al-Sa’afin that people should be themselves, and "not what your parents want".
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times in-between photo requests from adoring fans, Miss Dance said she was feeling "amazing and excited".
Her stage name was settled on in collaboration with her new mentor, Kiwi drag queen Miss Kola.
Winter Pride organiser Martin King said the moment made the "whole event worth it".
"I think for me, it was really emotional, that we can, as a town, put on an event that enables someone to be themselves. I’m so proud of that."
The performance was one of many to entertain the crowds at Pride in the Park, held along the resort’s Marine Pde.
Along with food and drink stalls and the New Zealand Police rainbow pride car, Queenstown musicians and DJs kept the hundreds of punters enjoying the sunshine happy.
The week-long festival continues today with the flag parade and closing party, before wrapping up with the farewell brunch tomorrow.