‘Expect crowns, tiaras and tits,’ event organiser Michael Gates (aka Maude Boate) told Echonetdaily ahead of the annual Queens Birthday Ball.
‘The silver jubilee masquerade will also feature lots of masks, lasers and smoke machines – plus DJ Les Smith (also celebrating his 25 anniversary with Tropical Fruits) and local DJ Lady K.’
Normas @ Showgrounds is a new venue for Fruits parties but one the crew is confident the community will enjoy.
‘Located underneath the grandstand, it’s an intimate venue with a sprung dance floor, and a smoking area and fire out the back. There’s also an informal party area on the grandstand itself,’ says Michael.
And to think that Tropical Fruits began as a series of gay and lesbian house parties in 1989, with the Queens Birthday Ball being its first.
The parties quickly moved into local venues such as Repentance Creek Hall, finally spilling over into the showgrounds for the first time at its 2003 New Years Eve Party.
Another ten years on, income from the big event has allowed the Fruits to embark on some important projects.
Under the benign reign of Queen (er, president) Erif, the organisation set up and ultimately purchased a centre, the Fruit Bowl, and extended its support for young people through the youth-run Fresh Fruits.
Erif, who is fondly remembered by members from the era, passed away in 2009 having given tremendous service to the community.
While the LGBTI community doesn’t normally need a reason to frock up and celebrate, they certainly have a big one tomorrow night.