Resort’s businesses embrace Winter Pride

Winter Pride owners Martin King (left) and Mike Hughes try out the selfie wall at Queenstown...
Winter Pride owners Martin King (left) and Mike Hughes try out the selfie wall at Queenstown restaurant Fishbone yesterday. Photo: Guy Williams
No-one wandering the streets and lanes of central Queenstown in the past few days could be in any doubt they are in rainbow country.

As Winter Pride festival-goers flow into the resort for today’s opening day, businesses and other organisations continue to roll out the rainbow decorations.

Festival director Martin King said he was rapt at the support.

"In the last 10 days, just shop after shop after restaurant after cafe have been putting up flags, and some businesses are getting involved in really creative ways.

"In all sincerity, I could never have imagined in a town like Queenstown there would be so many businesses and organisations embracing Pride the way they have.

"I think it’s done our town really proud, and I think there’s more to come."

Running until next Saturday, the festival is expected to attract more than 2000 participants for celebration of the LGBTI community’s diversity.After months of intensive work — "it’s a labour of love" — he was feeling "really confident" it would be a success, Mr King said.

He had been told every aircraft arriving from Australia yesterday was full, while other festival-goers were flying in from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

"We’re truly now a global pride festival on the world stage."

The annual festival, now in its seventh year, was formerly known as Gay Ski Week.

It was renamed Winter Pride in May under the new ownership of Mr King and husband Mike Hughes.

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