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Pokolbin Pride the first LGBTI Festival in the Hunter Valley.

Matt Kerr (L) Jimmy Wright (R)

I just had to share this story about my mates Jimmy and Matty …..The ‘husband and husband’ founders of Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen, an organic restaurant in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley. Jimmy and Matty have just announced their next project ‘Pokolbin Pride’ the first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Festival in the popular wine region.

The purpose of the festival is to provide a fun and safe umbrella for the LGBTI community living in the Hunter Valley region to connect and celebrate everything that the area has to offer. It will also provide a space for Hunter Valley LGBTI owned and friendly organisations or businesses to share their story and promote themselves.

The idea is the brainchild of Matthew (Matty) Kerr, brother to supermodel and business woman Miranda Kerr. Matty and his fiance, Jimmy Wright, a former Board Member of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, moved to the Hunter Valley in June 2015 having quit corporate careers to pursue their dream of running an organic restaurant. I visited Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen when they opened and had a wonderful time, catching up with Jimmy and Matty and also enjoying the peaceful surroundings and amazing organic food.

Pic: Nanna Kerr's Wholesome Food

Jimmy has often told me that he had no idea what setting up a business would be like and the hours and stress that go with it. I just smile and nod…yes I know it all too well. It takes guts to start a new adventure and go out on your own, and there are many times you just feel like quitting….but, we never do.

The Pokolbin Pride was created when Matty and Jimmy were on a camping trip and noticed that there are many events and festivals in the Hunter Valley but none for ‘the gays’. Hence this new adventure was born.

Pic: - "Looking good boys" Lol :)

Two weeks later the pair had registered the trading name Pokolbin Pride and set­up a number of social media accounts; now with almost 3500+ followers on Facebook the inaugural festival is scheduled for 20th­ - 24th October 2016.

The festival has already started to take shape...

Local musical duo Mel & Jade and Hypnotist Wayne Donnelly are the first of many performances already confirmed. I personally know Wayne and I’m sure he will deliver something fantastic.

A dinner on opening night at Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen demonstrates the festival has a serious side too. Louise Heslop, Principal Solicitor at Cessnock family law specialists Oliver Campbell Heslop will host and be delivering an informative talk on the state of surrogacy in Australia.

Pic: Emma's Cottage Hunter Valley

Wineries will be providing exclusive access tastings and special deals throughout the weekend, accommodation partners will be deals to visitors coming for the festival and local business and creators will be showcasing their products, knowledge and skills through stalls and special events.

The couple have already signed up Macquariedale Organic Wines as a founding partner.

Hop on to the website for more information.

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