On 26 May 2018, the new Mr Gay World – Jordan Bruno, a 24-year-old chef and television personality from Australia – was crowned during an official ceremony at Villa Castollini in Knysna. The ceremony was the culmination of a week’s activities that included photo shoots, challenges, deliberations, charity work and a parade through the streets of Knysna as a part of the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival.
Mango was proudly involved throughout, from flying contestants, judges and other guests to George Airport, to participating in various events that took place during the week-long Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival.
The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival is an annual event that takes place in the picturesque Western Cape town of Knysna, which is about an hour away from George Airport and offers tourists cruises on its lagoon, the chance to explore forests, great food and craft beer from various restaurants, and, of course, the beach.
Originally, the festival came about as a way to showcase the creative talents of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) community while dealing with the serious issues they face. It has now grown to be a community-wide celebration that sees local businesses decorating their premises with pink regalia and taking part in the parade.
South Africa is making strides as a country in the treatment of its LGBTQ+ community, but we still have a long way to go. Events such as the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival bring awareness and, of course, give everyone a chance to celebrate the community and have a bit of fun while giving back by participating in various charity events that take place before and after the event.
Becoming a sponsor for the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival was a natural decision for Mango, which embraces diversity and the country’s growing support of the LGBTQ+ community. Mango not only took part in the 2018 festival but the Mr Gay World pageant, too, with two of our members, head of marketing Benediction Zubane and marketing coordinator Kevin Morudu, acting as judges in the pageant.
The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts Festival will be celebrating its 19th year in 2019 – and hopefully you will be right there celebrating, too.