Locals gathered at Kempsey Riverside Park on Sunday September 23 to celebrate this year’s It’s Ok on the Macleay event.
The event is organised by local charity Baylin’s Gift and is a celebration of diversity and acceptance within the community.
Founder of Baylin’s Gift, Hayley Hoskins, said the day was a big success.
“We had a lot more stores this year and made the event a bit bigger. It was really good, a lot of people were coming and going throughout the day and getting involved,” she said.
This is the second year the event has been run and Ms Hoskins said seeing more people in the community getting involved was amazing.
“This event was started to support the needs of LGBTQI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community) and seeing more people in the community wanting to support events like this is really amazing.”
On the day locals were entertained by live performances by Vogue Performing Arts Academy, Indigenous drag performer Nova Gina and musicians Amos Morris and Tyrone Austin. Stand up paddle boarding was also offered as an activity courtesy of Sublime Stand Up Paddle Board Hire.
Kids were kept entertained by a kids corner filled with sensory play activities, jewelllery making, face painting and arts and crafts.
Kempsey Shire Council general manager Craig Milburn opened the event with a moving speech.
“I think we’re lucky as a community to have members in our council who want to build a better community and support events like this. We really welcome council to be more involved with the event next year,” Ms Hoskins said.
Tumblegum Bakehouse donated 70 colourful cupcakes for the day and Fredo Pies supplied the coffee while Baylin’s Gift fed the crowd with a BBQ lunch.
Ms Hoskins said the event will be held again next year.
“I feel it’s very important to have an event focused on acceptance of LGBTQI people. There’s still a long way to go for acceptance within communities and this is what It’s Ok on the Macleay is about, it’s an event for the community to celebrate diversity and show acceptance,” Ms Hoskins said.