Taking Pride to the next level

Sing your heart out. . . TV personality Aziz Al-Sa'afin and host Miss Ribena get the party started at Winter Pride's karaoke night.

Queenstown’s most colourful festival will be back and bigger than ever this year.

Planning for Winter Pride 2019 is well underway, with co-organiser Martin King revealing they’ve added a day to the start of the festival programme.

“A lot of people fly in that day, so they’re here anyway,” he says.

Last year’s re-branded event, formerly known as Gay Ski Week, was the first under new organisers King and Mike Hughes.

King says after attracting “record” numbers and unpre-cedented local support, they’re hoping to “go next-level” this year.

As well as the extra day, there’s a host of line-up changes on the cards.

They include a dedicated food and wine schedule, a Queenstown’s Got Talent competition, and a “big Sunday session” on the final Sunday.

The Winter Pride love will also be shared around Wakatipu skifields this year, with Coronet Peak joining The Remarkables and Cardrona in hosting on-mountain events.

Returning features include the popular Pride in the Park event, which attracted thousands of people to Queenstown’s lakefront last year, and the rainbow police car.

They’re yet to put the call out for performers for Pride in the Park, but King says they’re hoping to attract more local talent.

This year’s festival will run from August 30 to September 8.