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Paekakariki hosts ‘The World’s Shortest (unofficial) Pride Parade’

Paekakariki village burst into life this weekend, with a loud, proud, colourful Pride Fest.

Queer fire trucks, excited drummers, twirling banners and dancing dogs were all part of the  third annual unofficial ‘World’s Shortest Pride Parade’ at Paekakariki on Saturday. A crowd of hundreds made its way from Campbell Park next to the beach to the rainbow coloured crossing outside St Peters Village Hall, where a ribbon was cut to resounding cheers from the crowd.

The official parade only lasted 10-metres across the pedestrian crossing, with the organisers still hopeful of winning the Guinness World Records title of ‘World’s Shortest Pride Parade’.

The crowd consisted of bewigged and painted members and supporters of the queer community, from those in rainbow decorated push chairs – to motorised scooters draped in flags. The all-inclusive event was capped off by the appearance of the grande dame herself, Georgina Beyer.

Speaking to Newswire, Beyer said it was great to see everyone dressed up and having fun.

“It’s wonderful, and shows that even in small-town New Zealand we have pride in our rainbow community.”

The Pride parade was only one part of the Pride weekend – there was a disco for children following the parade, and a ‘Space Oddity’ themed dance party later on Saturday night.  Paekakariki also hosted a book launch by local Wellington writer Kate Torrens, whose novel ‘The Swimmers’ is set in post-homosexual law reform/AIDs crisis New Zealand.

Proceeds from the event are being shared between two organisations; Kapiti Youth Service’s Project Youth, a social and support group for rainbow youth, and rainbow resources for Paekakariki School students.