U T O P I A

PATTAYA GAY FESTIVAL 2001
all images are copyright 2001 by Utopia.


ICON's Poinsettia-inspired theme won best float in the parade
ICON's Poinsettia-inspired theme won best float in the parade.


A Chonburi Council member and Chairman of the PatGF were VIP guests
VIP guests: a Chonburi Council member and PatGF Chairman.


The parade was lead by residents remembering World AIDS Day
The parade was lead by residents remembering World AIDS Day.


Tiffany's Cabaret float (left) and Utopia (right)
Tiffany's Cabaret float (left) and Utopia (right).


Traditional costumes displayed color and pride
A multitude of ethnic dress displayed color and pride.


The couple at right center won 1st place for best traditional costume
The couple at right center won 1st place for best traditional costume.


It was a perfect, sunny day for a seaside celebration
It was a perfect, sunny day for a seaside celebration.


Local gay businesses and entertainment venues turned out in force
Local gay businesses and entertainment venues turned out in force.


Fabulous creatures were well appreciated by the crowds along the route
Fabulous creatures were well appreciated by the crowds along the route.


Dress for excess was the fashion statement for the weekend of activities
Dress for excess was the fashion statement for the weekend of activities.


Scene stealers from the street party following the parade
Scene stealers from the street party following the parade.


PATTAYA'S FIRST GAY FESTIVAL A HIT

The first-ever Pattaya Gay Festival was such an astonishing success that it is set to be a permanent and much-anticipated feature of the Thai gay calendar in future years.

FUNDS FOR CHARITY

The Festival Committee set out to combine enormous fun with a serious purpose. By the time the Festival was over, an incredible 3,260,000 Baht had been raised and contributed to the two chosen charities. The first is the HEARTT 2000 Foundation ("Help Ensure Aids Rescue Together in Thailand"), organized Dr. Jureerat Bowon, head of the HIV Clinic of Chonburi Regional Public Hospital and and Dr Philippe Seur, a French physician serving HIV patients in Pattaya. HEARTT provides free or low cost medication and expert medical services to those with HIV. The second charity is the Naklua Drug Rehabilitation Center.

EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

The Festival kicked off in February 2001, and every month throughout the year there was a dinner, a barbeque or a beach party. The Committee even organized a fancy-dress dog show! There was a lively sports program (football, bowling, volleyball) in which the whole gay community became passionately involved, and the startling habit arose of auctioning the shorts and jerseys of winning players. November saw the finals of these sporting events, as well as highly entertaining Mr. and Miss Pattaya Gay contests.

THE FESTIVAL PARADE

The Festival weekend began on 29 November with a street party in Boyztown which turned out to be the sleeper of the whole year. What was expected to be a low-key fun evening turned into a stupendous exuberant success, with 750 partygoers going completely wild.

The first Pattaya Gay Festival Parade and Walk for Life on World Aids Day 1 December was supported by over 1,000 sponsored walkers actually in the parade with many more walking along Beach Road cheering everyone on. The City gave its blessing with the Mayor himself starting the parade at 3 p.m. The public looked on in amazement as the 30 floats and groups walked by dressed in a fabulous assortment of costumes. Condoms, flags and the now collectable Utopia fans were handed out, with plenty of fliers to press home the safe sex message.

A GREAT COMMITTEE

The Festival Committee did a great job and they have earned the gratitude of Pattaya's gay community and, more importantly, of the many people with HIV who are now benefiting from their hard work. The Committee Chairman was Michael Burchall (Top Man), its Secretary was the indefatigable Jim Lumsden (Ambiance), and they were supported by Khun Tui (Tui's Place), Richard Burk (Amor) and Khun Charlie (Dreamboys).

Click here for pictures from the 2002 Pattaya Gay Festival.


Plan now to join us for the next
PATTAYA GAY FESTIVAL


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