Midsumma Pride March
Midsumma Pride March 2019 by Suzanne Balding
What is Midsumma Pride March?
Midsumma Pride March is the second of our signature events where over 7,400 marchers take to the streets down Fitzroy Street in St Kilda each year. Over 45,000 people line the streets and balconies along the march route to show their support – making this the best-attended Pride March in Victoria. In terms of scale, march numbers for Midsumma Pride March are considerably larger than other annual marches held in Victoria including Moomba and the Australia Day March.
Dykes on Bikes precede the marching contingent as per tradition, with the march itself led by Boon Wurrung Elders and a Rainbow Aboriginal Float along with the Premier of Victoria, Minister for Equality and the Creative Industries and Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality.
Hundreds of young people, often amongst the most vulnerable within our communities, are placed towards the front of the march as a positive and strong affirmation for LGBTIQA+ youth.
The Midsumma Pride March Awards encourage colourful and innovative contributions from March participants and is judged by selected members of the community.
At the conclusion of the march, attendees are led into Catani Gardens for celebrations and entertainment including DJs and live performances.
Marching with Pride
The 25th Anniversary of Pride March graced the streets of St Kilda on Sunday 2 February 2020, and the 26th march will take place in St Kilda in May (TBC date) 2021, though both participants and crowd sizes may need to be restricted due to COVID-19.
In 1996, Melbourne's LGBTQIA community took to the streets in a show of solidarity for the first Pride March. The 1996 march took almost the same route along St Kilda’s Fitzroy St, transforming the strip into a show of community pride. The first Pride March in Melbourne, governed by Pride March Victoria, is remembered as quite extraordinary, with a gathering of 11,000 people.
Midsumma Pride March is about affirming that we’re fabulous, and we’re loved, and we’re diverse and we’re proud. We march in solidarity for those who can not.
Pride March - Graham Willet; Source Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
After their inception in 2017, the Midsumma Pride March Awards will be back in 2021.
The awards are intended to encourage a bright and meaningful presence from participants. Winners are selected by a panel of diverse community representatives and announced at the post-Pride Celebrations.
Award winners for Midsumma Pride March 2020 were:
- Peter Dewildt Award - Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message. This award honours the memory of Peter Dewildt, Pride March Victoria's first president, who passed in 2019:
Parents of Gender Diverse Children
- Most Fabulous - awarded to the most fantastically-frocked group:
Rainbow LARP (Live Action Role Play)
- Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest group in the march:
2019 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous - awarded to the most fantastically frocked group.
The 2019 winner was: VIKA
★ Most Significant Message - awarded to the group with a timely and well-conveyed message.
The 2019 winner was Lifeview Residential Care
★ Most Innovative - awarded to the cleverest float in the show.
The 2019 winner was Rainbow Aboriginal Pride
★ Victoria's bisexual community
★ Deaf-initely Pride
★ Melbourne Aces - Asexuals Australia
2018 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous - the 2018 winner was Jews of Pride
★ Significant Message - the 2018 winner was No Pride in Detention
★ Most Innovative - the 2018 winner was Scouts Victoria.
2017 Midsumma Pride March Award Winners
★ Most Fabulous: Melbourne Frontrunners
★ Most Significant Message: joint winners: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; Minus18 and Safe Schools
★ Most Innovative: VAC and their Riff Raff Marching Band
Images: Pride March 2000 by Angela Bailey