We're skipping 2019
Stay tuned and visit us again soon for updates
EMOTIONS AND ELATION AT INAUGURAL MARGI GRAS
Emotions were high and the 700-strong crowd elated at Margaret River’s first Margi Gras proudly sponsored by The River Hotel.
Attendees witnessed the region’s first public same-sex wedding when Rebecca Hannan married her long-term partner Sunny Michelle Hannan at the free event that came to fruition as a celebration of equality.
The bridal party, along with Perth Drag Queens, arrived in style to the Margaret River Cultural Centre Lawns via a 12-car motorcade that included a 1939 Buick, a black 1950 Mark V Jaguar, a 1955 Mustang, a pink 1960 Thunderbird, a red 1966 Thunderbird convertible à la Thelma and Louise, a grey and white 1964 Chevrolet Belair and a red 1967 Buick Wildcat Sting.
The pair was married under the gazebo in front of the Augusta Margaret River Shire building that was styled with sashes of colour fabric and beautiful fresh flowers and foliage by Miriam Avery.
Margi Gras founder Rebecca Hannan said the day could not have been any better.
“The support shown by the community has been nothing short of overwhelming – there were 55 businesses that came on board and dedicated committee who helped pull it all together,” the professional speaker, coach and trainer said.
“It really made me feel proud to be a member of this community and I’m honoured so many came out to celebrate equality and be a part of our wedding.
“I think Margi Gras has shown that Margaret River is a welcoming place for LGBTI holidays and wonderful destination for same-sex weddings – I highly recommend it!” laughed Rebecca.
The crowd roared when Sunny thanked all those who voted ‘yes’ during speeches.
Margi Gras’ MC Jordan Bruno who recently won Mr Gay Pride Australia said Margi Gras was a very special event.
“I love Western Australia and Margaret River and I’m really honoured and proud to be involved in Margi Gras, which sends are really strong message that everyone is entitled to be themselves,” said Jordan, a LGBTI activist and ambassador and a semi-finalist on MKR 2016.
“I feel like we’ve witnessed a little bit of history watching the region’s first same-sex wedding – the whole event had such an amazing vibe.”
People signed the dedicated Margi Gras Love and Messages wall, ate delicious food by Willow Grill, drank MargiGras-Rita cocktails and Queer Beer and enjoyed the entertainment by Perth Drag Queens, a surprise Elton John act, Bellyvision belly dancers and the Margaret River Big Band. Children’s entertainment included Kaptain Quirk as Bubble Man, unicorn rides and a giant bouncy castle. Ed Scissorhands added glitter to hair and faces to create a Margi Gras look.
The newly weds were given a cheerful send off with attendees eagerly forming a 100-metre long human archway.
Perth Drag Queens Creative Director Scarlet Adams said she immediately said yes when asked to be involved in Margi Gras.
“Margi Gras is such a fabulous event and the crowd at the After Party were one of the best we’ve performed in front of. We had a ball and can’t wait for next year already!”
The party continued until late at The River Hotel to a near-capacity crowd as the troupe of five from Perth Drag Queens had the place rocking and everyone dancing as they performed numbers that included ‘It’s Raining Men’ by Gerri Halliwell, ‘Stop’ by the Spice Girls, ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ by Cher, ‘Get Outta My Way’ by Kylie Minogue and ‘It’s My Party’ by Jessie J.
The River Hotel business partner Phil Thompson said that Margi Gras was a terrific addition to the region.
“The event was fantastic - we’re thrilled to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to future events,” Phil said.
WHAT IS MARGI GRAS
Margi Gras founder Rebecca Hannan was legally married to her long-term partner Sunny at the inaugural Margi Gras on 10 February 2018, Margaret River's first public same sex wedding. That's how Margi Gras came to be - Rebecca was campaigning and quite vocal in the lead up to the same sex marriage plebiscite conducted in November 2017. When the law was passed in December 2017, her friends wanted to attend her wedding, but she didn't feel right about having something private, she wanted to share it with everyone. Rebecca says that the same sex marriage survey was a divisive campaign. The antidote: a super fun inclusive event - Margi Gras!
Born from an idea to hold a public wedding where everyone was invited, perhaps with some music and entertainment, Margi Gras blossomed into a major public festival held over three hours and free to attend.
In 2018, more than 55 local businesses jumped on board to support Margi Gras. The Margi Gras team feels truly blessed for the overwhelmingly positive support and feedback. Long may it continue!
This Saturday is Margi Gras proudly sponsored by The River Hotel, a free inclusive event that celebrates equality for everyone...[READ MORE]
Jordan Bruno, who was recently crowned Mr Gay Pride Australia, will be the MC for the inaugural Margi Gras proudly sponsored by The River Hotel...[READ MORE]
Never before seen in Margaret River, a fabulous troupe of five from Perth Drag Queens will put on a glittering show at the inaugural Margi Gras proudly sponsored by The River Hotel...[READ MORE]
It is impossible to run events of this calibre without sponsors and supporters, and we are eternally grateful for the support of ours.
Julie Kiker, Ian Smith, Naomi Godden, David McCashney, Danni Marshall, Julie Marshall, Anne-Marie Laddie, Trish Moss and
Chalet on Percheron
Margaret River is 270km or approximately a three-hour drive south of Perth, Western Australia. For directions, coach options and information, visit Your Margaret River Region.
Where to Stay? Margi Gras recommends:
Offering spacious rooms above the bar and restaurant, motel units and spa suites both one and two- bedroom villas.
Exclusive Margaret River Properties with many holiday accommodation properties in a number of locations.
Margaret Riverside Accommodation presents value for money in three distinctive properties alongside riverside walks and an easy stroll to town.
Margi Gras sponsored by The River Hotel is accepting expressions of interest and offers from local businesses and individuals who would like to show their support in celebrating equality for everyone.
We are looking for
Cash sponsors - sponsorship packages available
Donations - My Cause page here
Volunteers - email
Rebecca Hannan is a fabulous and professional speaker, coach and trainer and has a background in the health and fitness industry and real estate. If you need to get it done, Rebecca will motivate you. Rebecca will marry her long-term partner Sunny during Margi Gras and is the event's Chairperson.
Dianne Bortoletto, owner of Pronto PR, is a public relations professional and freelance writer with expertise in tourism, major events, food and wine and motorsport. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds and if she can't get you excited about it, then no one can. Dianne is the PR and Media Manager for Margi Gras.
Miriam Avery creates stunning wedding and event styling and offers an event management consultancy in Margaret River and she is also a multi award winning floral designer. Super organised Miriam is the Operations Manager for Margi Gras.
Julie Kiker is a finance professional. For Margi Gras, she'll keep everything balanced with her budgeting skills as well as supporting the team with admin.
The vision is to grow Margi Gras into a fabulous inclusive annual public event, street party/parade and celebration that attracts visitors and locals alike as well as promotes Margaret River as a wedding destination for all couples.