ITS ON: At the ribbon-cutting for the start of the Tropical Fruits party are (from left) Marie Reilly, Cr Jenny Dowell, Maud B
ITS ON: At the ribbon-cutting for the start of the Tropical Fruits party are (from left) Marie Reilly, Cr Jenny Dowell, Maud B

Gays turn out in style

By EMMA O'NEILL emma.oneill@northernstar.com.au IT WAS fitting that internationally-renowned drag queen Maud Boat was the first to walk the red carpet after opening the 2007 Tropical Fruits New Year's Eve Party in Lismore.

The red carpet had become a red sea after heavy rain, and Maud Boat floated along the path gracefully.

As she walked, her three-metre trail of iridescent white material and reflective silver boob tube was all that could be seen by the throng who followed Maud along the path.

Event organiser, Marie Reilly, said more than 2000 tickets had been sold.

"Tropical Fruits is the biggest event for the gay and lesbian community outside a major city in Australia. It's an honour to be involved with this event in a regional town with such a large queer population," she said.

Lismore councillor Jenny Dowell helped Maud cut the ribbon which officially opened the event.

Cr Dowell said she was delighted to be involved with an event which was so well organised and which looked after partygoers so well. "The Lismore Showground never looked so good," she said.

A Toowoomba resident, who had travelled to Lismore for the event and went by the name of Glitter Owl, was working as a radical fairy. The radical fairies were a group of volunteers who looked after revellers during the night.

Glitter Owl said the event provided a great alternative to large%city New Year events.

"There is an amazingly friendly atmosphere at Tropical Fruits and a real community feel. It is a blend of city boys, country people and out-there characters," he said.



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