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Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival 2019

This epic carnival of spectacular celebrations is one that attracts travellers to Garden Route’s Knysna every winter. Come with your sparkles and glitter, favourite high heels, bright feather boas and enthusiasm to experience this unique Gay Pride event, which only grows in popularity every year since launching in 2001, almost 2 decades ago.

The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival is a colourful and fun festival that is geared towards the greater Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community, while providing education and awareness within and also beyond the community. While experiencing the excitement of this carnival, there is an evident sense of purpose and passion, while the festival incorporates residents and visitors regardless of their sexual orientation, with everyone coming together to celebrate diversity and embrace the ideals of equality and freedom.

The welcoming town of Knysna comes to life in the most dazzling way during the annual Pink Loerie Festival, as visitors from all over South Africa as well as from around the world make their way to the exquisite Garden Route for a memorable and fun-filled weekend, which offers a range of attractions and activities in and around Knysna. There is an unmistakable party vibe that sets the Pink Loerie mood from the very start of the festival, while a bright pink colour, as a trademark characteristic of the Pink Loerie event, can be appreciated throughout Knysna all weekend long. As another enticing attribute to this year’s event, the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival of 2019 will host the highly anticipated Mr Gay World™ South Africa competition.

For tourists, this inclusive festival presents a fantastic opportunity to enjoy various locations in and around Knysna during their vacation stay, as well as gain an understanding of an ever visible LGBTQ+ community in our country. This excellent event also invites local business establishments to take part by decorating their window displays in celebration of the event, competing for the coveted title of the best Pink Loerie window display – as such, a simple stroll down the sidewalks of Knysna’s city centre is filled with art and expression, with the unrivalled hospitality by Knysna locals setting the pace.

The theme for this year’s Pink Loerie festival will be “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and is set to include the usual event highlights such as good food, famous Knysna oysters, captivating drag shows, saucy soirees and of course the fabulous street parade that stops crowds in awe and inspires creativity and expression – this parade is an important part of the festival, as it shows how far we have all come in accepting each other, despite our unique differences. Anyone can participate in the event, which is embraced by the Garden Route community at large.

While each Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival has primary focus points and a similar overall purpose, the theme and itinerary of each year’s Pink Loerie Festival is different from the year before. Art is at the forefront of the event and is reflected traditionally, as well as in the clothes worn by the festival goers and other forms of expression.

For more information on Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival 2019, visit

  • Starting date: 30 May 2019
  • Ending date: 2 June 2019
  • Contact Person: John O’neil
  • Contact Number: 083 347 9570
  • Contact Email:

Check in with our travel experts at Hello Garden Route to discover and book your holiday accommodation in Knysna or elsewhere along the magnificent Garden Route. The neighbouring Plettenberg Bay and Sedgefield are located just a short drive away from the festival setting in Knysna. Looking for more adventures to embark on when attending this fabulous event? Winter is the perfect time to appreciate the surrounding vistas by enjoying a scenic self-drive route, try out the popular Ocean Odyssey Whale and Eco Tour for memorable experiences, or visit Knysna Elephant Park to bond with and learn more about these gentle giants.

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