Orange Mardi Gras festival cancelled for third year running

Orange’s Mardi Gras festival has been cancelled again for the third year running with organisers saying the continuing Omicron surge made it impossible to put on.

The decision to cancel has put the future of the festival in doubt, as it has yet to hold an event since its planned debut in 2020.

The news comes as the neighbouring Bathurst Mardi Gras event will be going ahead as planned for the third year in a row.

“Covid was at the forefront of our minds when we were looking at possibilities,” Festival organiser Trevor Slattery told the ABC.

“It has just got to the point where continually having to postpone the event has meant that the small team of people who were working on it are quite exhausted.”

Slattery said they were planning a series of smaller monthly catch-ups instead of a stand alone event.

“Rather than just coming out for one weekend a year, you’re going to have multiple opportunities throughout the year,” he said.

But not everyone is happy with the decision, with Bling Pig owner John Vandenburg saying he didn’t agree with the decision, describing it as “ridiculous”.

“How has our community changed so much that we don’t need what is happening everywhere else in Australia, but Orange doesn’t need it anymore?” he said.

“The whole idea behind Mardi Gras and festivals is to have it out in the community so everyone comes to realise that the LGBTQI community shouldn’t be looked at as something separate.”