Peninsula to host Mardi Gras in October
The Peninsula could host the Coast's first Mardi Gras-style event in October with the support of Central Coast Council.
Prospective organisers, from the Naughty Noodle Fun Haus, have presented their "social enterprise" idea at Central Coast Council's inaugural Launch Pad pitch night.
Launch Pad is a three-month training program run by the Council to support the development of social enterprises.
This year, 18 of the 25 graduates, including the Fun Haus, presented their pitches to more than 30 potential investors, community leaders and business owners, according to Council acting director Mr Phil Cantillon.
The Naughty Noodle Fun Haus has formed a Central Coast Pride Subcommittee to plan a Coastal Twist festival.
The three-day arts and culture festival would take place at various venues around the Peninsula over the October 4-6 long weekend.
With the Council as principal sponsor and support from local businesses, the event is expected to attract more than 2000 people.
It will include ticketed events such as a cabaret, dance party and film and dinner night as well as free activities including a beach picnic day with a Queer Surf Competition, volleyball and music and a photographic exhibition.
It will culminate in a Fair Day on October 6, with all-day entertainment, guest DJs, food and market stalls, representatives of LGBTIQ groups from across the country, a youth area, drag story time for the children and a Puparazzi Pooch Parade.
Fun Haus artistic director Ms Glitta Supernova said: "Inclusion doesn't require you to change who you are. It requires you to be who you are.
"This time last year I had been living on the Coast for five years and didn't see myself reflected here.
"There was zero fringe, counter-culture or LGBTIQ celebratory visibility and I very much saw it as my own personal responsibility to be the change I wanted to see."
Fun Haus acting chief executive Mr Juan Iocco said: "The one thing we knew for sure coming into Launch Pad was the value of diversity and inclusion as a key source of economic, social and community regeneration."
He said Launch Pad had been an "enabler" for the business.
Mr Cantillon said: "The pitch night brought the community together, with inspiration, ideas and people who care about the Coast."
Mayor Cr Jane Smith said Launch Pad built strong relationships within the community.
"Launch Pad connects people, builds capacity and creates local solutions and initiatives," she said.
"It also fosters innovation and partnership to develop local entrepreneurs and support start-ups.
Media release, 17 July 2019
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council
Media release, 30 July 2019
Glitta Supernova and Juan Iocco, Naughty Noodles Fun Haus