A HUGE party with a message of inclusivity has officially had its dates looked into the books for next year in Leeton.
Leeton Rainbow Pride Collective will present the shire's first ever mardi gras festival weekend and the group wants everyone to join in.
To be held on September 26 and 27, the event will boast four main events, starting with a mardi gras parade on the Saturday in the town's main street, which will be followed by a pride fair in Mountford Park.
The fun will continue later that night at the pride after party where delicious food and fun entertainment awaits.
There will also be awards at the pride fair for best costumes, best float, most inclusive support group or business and best decorated shop window.
If that wasn't enough, the pride games will be held on the Sunday at No. 1 Oval.
Leeton Rainbow Pride Collective's Denise McGrath said now was the time for all community members to start getting on board with the event.
She said the whole idea of the weekend was to bring everyone together.
"Planning is going well, we're a little low on sponsorship though, so if anyone wants to get behind us in that manner, that would be really nice," Ms McGrath said.
"There's lots of people coming from all over the place.
"We're wanting it to be a fun weekend, but one where there's a message of awareness, inclusivity and knowing you're not alone.
"At the end of the day, that's all anyone wants. We get to 'demystify' who we are, we're just ordinary people. We want to be friends with everyone and be part of the community. We're all human beings."
Groups and organisations from throughout the state are set to march in the parade, including the 78ers, who represent Australia's first mardi gras event that was marred by police brutality.
Ms McGrath said the world and, indeed Australia, had come a long way since then.
Leeton High's Tyler Stafford is a member of the school's Gay Straight Alliance.
He said there was no doubting bullying remained for students on this issue and not just in Leeton, but he believed more people were becoming more accepting.
"I'm looking forward to being part of the whole weekend, it's getting the awareness out there that we're all just people," Tyler said.
"At school it can be friendly. There can be slurs. But I think it's about having more education around it."
To assist with sponsorship of the event email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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