Tropical Fruits volunteer co-ordinator Joshua Cavanagh, of Brisbane, is carried across the wet grass at the Lismore Showground yesterday by volunteer Jake Guest, of Lismore, while camping organiser Kenny Beilby, of Sydney, steps out in his high heels.
Tropical Fruits volunteer co-ordinator Joshua Cavanagh, of Brisbane, is carried across the wet grass at the Lismore Showground yesterday by volunteer Jake Guest, of Lismore, while camping organiser Kenny Beilby, of Sydney, steps out in his high heels. Jacklyn Wagner

Tropical Fruits set rain or shine

MORE than 250 volunteers were hard at work yesterday putting the final glittering touches on the installations and facilities for the 21st Tropical Fruits New Year’s Eve spectacular at the Lismore Showground.

Organisers have no fears of the weather dampening proceedings, with 3500 guests expected to compensate for the grey clouds with truck-loads of bright tinsel, lippy and sequins already on-site.

Volunteer coordinator Joshua Cavanagh arrived from Brisbane on Sunday and hit the ground running.

“This is my third Tropical Fruits and I’m definitely not worried about the rain,” he said. “We’re in the Rainbow Region I say, so take it as it is.”

This year, 500 visitors will brave the elements for the first time at the new on-site camping facilities.

Official ‘Camp Bitch’ Kenny Beilby is responsible for the campers’ wellbeing, taking care of everything from leaky tents to wardrobe and make-up malfunctions.

Charged with the responsibility of glamorising 500 campers in rather spartan conditions, Mr Beilby had all the confidence of a Las Vegas stage manager, showing no pre-party jitters.

“We’re ready for anything,” he said. “We take care of the whole camping area, making sure everyone is having a safe, fun and enjoyable time.

“Whether you’re staying in the ‘quiet section’, the‘extreme section’ or the ‘hairy bears area’, we’re here to look after one and all.”

Event coordinator Marie Reilly said everything was coming together beautifully.

“We’ve got people coming from all over the world and all over the country,” she said.

“This year’s theme is ‘The Elements’ – air, fire, earth and water – so it’s fantastic for costumes, light, sound and decor.

“We just want to wish Lismore a Happy New Year and thank them for being so hospitable to all of our gay and lesbian guests.”



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