The 17th annual Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) costume party, under the theme of “Flower Power”, takes place on Saturday 18 December. And, the already iconic Cape Town stadium, built for the 2010 World Cup, will be the spectacular venue for the much-anticipated bash.

Created in 1994 to celebrate the birth of South Africa’s new constitution and its acknowledgment of gay rights, MCQP attracts both gay and straight revellers – many of them from out of town – in often outrageous and sexy costumes, and is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading gay parties.

This year, in addition to the usual logistical issues associated with pulling off an event that attracts thousands, organisers had to contend with a fundamentalist Christian-led campaign against the party, specifically the support and funding given to it by the city of Cape Town and its tourism body.

According to Pastor Errol Naidoo, the man behind the homophobia, “the City of Cape Town is using rate-payers money to actively promote sexual perversion”. Thankfully, it appears as if the powers that be have taken little notice of his bigoted ranting.

In the days ahead of MCQP, we asked impresario, former head of Cape Town Pride and current Director, Ian McMahon – who became part of the phenomenon in 2008 – about some of his favourite events and this year’s party.

MCQP is important to the gay and lesbian community… because it is the one pink event that is supported by gay and straight alike, young and old, black and white, promoting tolerance and unity.

Ian McMahon

My favourite previous MCQP theme is… Shopping Trolley (1997).

My all-time favourite theme… is the one I have in my head for next year!

My favourite previous MCQP venue is… The River Club (which hosted a number of MCQP parties over the years).

The secret to keeping MCQP fresh and new every year is… the theme, decor and venue – reinventing the wheel each and every year.

The City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism supported the event because… it is an iconic Cape Town event bringing guests from far afield and a celebration of diversity.

The reason we wanted to have the party at the Cape Town stadium was… that it is new, multi-faceted, central and the StadeFrance [operates of the stadium] people are just fabulous!

The real reason we wanted to have the party at the Cape Town stadium… is that we are size queens.

I think that Errol Naidoo… would look fabulous in a frock!

I am excited about this year’s MCQP because… The whole of Cape Town is absolutely behind the theme and venue.

This year I will be dressed as… Austin Powers

The most memorable MCQP costume I’ve ever seen was… Asterix & Obelix (Comic Strip, 2006) following by Gayola, spoofing Crayola crayons (Matric Dance, 2007).

Cape Town is the perfect setting for MCQP because… it is about the visual senses – and Cape Town has lots of that!

I would consider having an MCQP in Joburg if… enough people would support a Joburg event, without losing the uniqueness of Cape Town’s event.

Once MCQP 2010 is over I plan… to get cracking on the New Year’s Party. After that, it’s some rest!

MCQP Flower Power takes place on Saturday 18 December at the Cape Town Stadium. Partygoers will have five separate indoor levels with nine different areas, each with its own unique sub-theme. Tamara Dey and Flash Republic will perform on the live stage. VIP ticket holders will be treated to full access to all areas, secure parking underneath the stadium, a drop off at the red carpet entrance and an exclusive VIP area with its own dance floor, snacks, bars, entertainment and toilets.

Tickets are on sale now at these stores: Arizona Sports Bar, Beefcakes Burger Bar , Bronx Action Bar, Café Manhattan De Waterkant, Café Manhattan Sea Point, Cape Tourism Offices x 4, Crew Bar, Dial-A-Pizza Sea Point, Gap Leisure , Accommodations – De Waterkant, Glen Hotel, Hot House Steam & Leisure, Lazari @ Cape Quarter, Little Denmark Flower Studio, Rosie’s Pool Room and Bar and at Computicket (online or at outlets).

For more information visit the MCQP website.

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