A rainbow of colour descended on Shepparton’s Queen’s Gardens on Saturday.
The OUTintheOPEN Festival’s Carnival Day proved a hit with young and old who ventured out to enjoy the lovely weather along with a good dose of entertainment and food.
More than 50 stalls featured at the day and the thousands who flocked to the gardens were kept entertained by well-known drag queens Rhubarb Rouge and Krystal Ring, who MC’d the event.
Festival convener Damien Stevens said it was wonderful to see so many people gathered together to support the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.
‘‘It can still be difficult living in a regional or rural area and being LGBTI,’’ he said.
‘‘(But here), LGBTI people — young and old — are feeling safe in the town they live in and love, to thrive and be themselves,’’ he said.
Mr Stevens said this was the sixth year the OUTintheOPEN Festival had been held in Shepparton and it continued to go from strength to strength.
The festival was held across three and a half days, starting Thursday, and featured 11 events.
The events ranged from a networking night on Thursday to a comedy duo on Friday.
Once again the popular Glamour Party was held at the Aussie Hotel on Saturday night and proved a hit with those who love cabaret and drag.
Mr Stevens said this year, the OUTintheOPEN Festival raised money to support Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation and the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
The festival is thankful to Greater Shepparton City Council, Shepparton Show Me and the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise for their support.