Pride parade to take over Ponsonby
The inner-city suburb of Ponsonby is in for a colourful and festive February with the Auckland Pride Parade set to take over the streets.
The parade will be part of a 13-day festival taking place in the city from February 9 and is expected to attract more than 200,000 spectators.
Yesterday organisers of the parade, the Auckland Pride Festival Trust, announced the route for the February 16 event which will start at Three Lamps and make its way down the length of Ponsonby Rd to Western Park.
Organisers hope the parade's 4pm start time will mean it will attract a broader audience, including children, teenagers and the elderly.
Gresham Bradley, the trust's co-chairman, said the location signalled a "return to the home of Auckland's rainbow community".
Ponsonby was a place that "holds wonderful memories for many Aucklanders from the old Hero Parades".
The Hero Parade and Festival ran for almost a decade from 1992 to 2001 and attracted around 100,000 spectators annually. When it ended the parade left the Hero Charitable Trust $142,398 in debt.
The parade was later replaced by the Big Gay Out.
This is also the first time the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender community has received financial support from Auckland Council for a parade, and the deal means it can secure broader sponsorship from businesses and corporate sectors.
It has not been revealed how much the council, through Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development, will contribute to the parade but earlier this year it was reported the Auckland Pride Festival Trust had requested $339,000.
The money was to make up a shortfall between what the trust believed it could generate in ticket sales and sponsorship - $439,000 - and what it believed the event would cost to host - $778,000.
In June, ATEED major events manager Jennah Wootten said the festival aligned with Auckland's Major Events Strategy, delivering both social and economic benefits to the city.
Visitors are expected to come from both New Zealand and abroad with people targeted to stop over before heading to the annual Sydney Mardi Gras.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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