The Rainbow on a Plains kicked off in Hay, with this year's crowd double then last years' where a record number of people attended the street parades.
The festival featured a main street parade along with two days of festivities, including a fair day and an official after-party.
Rainbow on the Plains chairman Will Miller described the weekend as an incredible success, with the highlights being the well-known band Rogue Traders and for the first time drag kings.
"The parade had 26 floats which is our record, the streets were full...well over a thousand people, our fair day had well over 1000 people and our Saturday night party had around 350 people," Mr Miller said.
Headliners Rogue Traders - who released hits like Voodoo Child - found that this event was their favourite festival they've ever been to and were moved by the inclusive nature, Mr Miller said.
The event also featured an exhibition with the 20 different LGBTQIA+ flags and the background information in what they represent, which provided a learning opportunity for anyone who attended.
"People being able to say, 'oh, I never knew there was a flag and I think that's almost who I am', that was fantastic," he said.
"And at the end of that exhibition, people got the opportunity to paint their hand with particular flag colours and put it on a piece of canvas to have a legacy that they were a part of."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mr Miller hopes Rainbow On the Plains painted the picture that Hay is an inclusive town and was immensely moved by the large number of locals who were involved in organising the weekend.
The festival was first started in 2018 by three cisgendered heterosexual women, Krista Schade, Kerri Mijok and Kerry Aldred, who each year would head to Sydney for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
They then decided to start their own mardi gras in the regions, which led to more and more people jumping on board.
That led to the event today, where a since-formed committee has taken what was a one-off event to create a yearly celebration.
"We're a very, very long way away from that [Sydney] and a lot of people definitely don't have the funds or the ability to travel all that way for what is an incredible celebration."
The Hay mardi gras provides an opportunity for local communities to learn about and support the LGBTQIA+ community and a form of solidarity for the local regional queer communities.
It also can be an opportunity to learn about the mental health services and sexual health services the queer community may struggle to access.
While the event may not be as large as Sydney's Mardi Gras, Mr Miller is confident in its growth and hopes it is an opportunity for people to learn more and step out of their comfort zone with an open mind.
"We make sure that we've got something for everyone and as a result of that, we are seeing very clearly that people are learning and growing and want to keep coming back every year with our education journey," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.