20 November 2018
Braddon businesses have written to the ACT Government and Yes!Fest board members asking them to take the bold step of growing next year’s Lonsdale Street Party into Canberra’s very own Mardi Gras.
Braddon’s United Retailers & Traders (BURT) say the success of last year’s impromptu Marriage Equality street party and last weekend’s anniversary party was proof there is a demand for the event.
With thousands flocking to Lonsdale Street on Saturday, expanding Yes!Fest activities to the entire length of the street and adding colourful floats like those seen in Sydney’s Mardi Gras, would make it one of the ACT’s “must-attend” events, for locals and tourists alike.
It will be great for our city, our economy, and is a powerful way to support the LGBTQI community.
With Yes!Fest widely hailed as a success, BURT is keen to ensure all businesses in Braddon are able to participate and contribute to the event. This involves creating communication channels with organisers to ensure road closures don't inadvertently impact on some businesses as it did this year.
Opening up the entire street to a Mardi Gras for Yes!Fest makes the evening more family-friendly. This means businesses, beyond the licensed venues who contributed this year, could also offer themed products and services.
Many business owners affiliated with BURT have already suggested that a portion of their proceeds from the night could be invested back into the event and other causes important to the LGBTQI community. Maximising the participation of Braddon businesses would therefore be vital to maximising the benefits for them.
BURT is confident the Lonsdale Street Yes!Fest Mardi Gras would be a great success and is committed to working with organisers and the ACT Government to make it a reality in 2019.
BURT’s call for a Mardi Gras comes just days after they advocated for an expansion of roundabout tributes to other important social movements in Braddon, joining the Rainbow Roundabout as a defining Braddon landmark.