Community to shine at parade

GEORGE GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014
Rainbow Coalition

GAY PRIDE: The Waiheke Island Rainbow Coalition is planning to wow the crowd at this year’s Pride Parade on Ponsonby Rd. Participants are pictured here at the 2013 parade.

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The gay community on Waiheke Island is preparing to sparkle and shine at this year's Pride Parade in Auckland.

The Rainbow Coalition, which is co-ordinating the island's entry, was granted $500 by the Waiheke Local Board at its first meeting of the year to help with the cost of taking part.

Coalition spokeswoman Pauline Dellaca says around 50 people are preparing to raise the bar with their entry on February 22.

"Last year our entry was the second highest crowd pleaser - just behind the Armed Forces in terms of popularity. So we are building on our success."

A large contingent of walkers will parade along Ponsonby Rd with a full sound system, a dance troupe led by dance and fitness instructor Rahman Saleh, two vehicles and two large banners. Around 100,000 people are expected to come and watch the parade.

"We will all wear the colourful WIRC - Waiheke Island Rainbow Coalition - T-shirt, ensuring a strong visual presence."

The theme of this year's evening parade is Past, Present and Future and the Waiheke entry will highlight each theme.

"A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to ensure everything comes together on the night and we sparkle and shine with the rest of the parade participants," Ms Dellaca says. "Committee members are overwhelmed by the support we have received for our entry this year. We are looking forward to being cheered along the parade route by fellow islanders on the night."

The Pride Parade is at 7pm on February 22, on Ponsonby Rd.

EVENTS FUNDING

At the Waiheke Local Board's first meeting of the year, two applications for events funding were presented.

The Waiheke Island Rainbow Coalition was granted $500 towards the projected $2160 cost of taking part in the Pride Parade on February 22.

The board declined the Waiheke Winegrowers Association request for $3680 for Waiheke Vintage Festival website development and $3200 for festival logo development on the grounds that it had allocated $1900 towards the festival's opening event from the board's community fund at its December meeting.

The Vintage festival runs from March 29 to April 6.

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