Denise Hanlon is only a few lines into her song before she steps straight off the front of the stage. She weaves through the crowd of hundreds as she sings, decked out in bedazzled pink flares and top, paired with an immense black wig.
The crowd sings along with her, passing the microphone cable over their heads as a sound engineer feeds out the line.
"Is this as far as it goes?" she asks, looking back at the stage from the centre of the crowd.
She is singing to everyone.
There's no space between the audience and the performers. Everyone is in it together. A dog barks, so Hanlon offers the microphone and asks if it would like to sing as well. At one point, she sits down with a family. They embrace - all the while, she continues performing, interjecting punchlines between lyrics.
"The mood today is very joyous," Newcastle Pride event co-founder Ivan Skaines says. "It is one of celebration, and it is one of coming together."
"I think what is really important is that it is not just the queer community that is here today, it is the general community."
The Pride festival is the first major LGBTQ+ community event since the marriage plebiscite in 2017 - a time that had been bittersweet for some in the community, Mr Skaines says.
"A number of things have happened over the past few years, the marriage plebiscite being one issue," he says.
"For some people, that was a very joyous occasion, but for others, it was a difficult time where their relationships were called into question.
"This is the first major celebration this community has held since that plebiscite."
It also follows the rebranding of the Gateway Hotel at Islington in February, which the Pride Festival's other event co-founder, Lee-Anne McDougall, has said catalysed the planning for a major event to bring the community together again.
"For some people, the (rebranding) of the Gateway Hotel was a big issue because it felt like home for a lot of people and they felt that their home had been taken away," Mr Skaines says.
Everywhere at Foreshore Park, from the stage to the stallholders, there is a sense of people from all backgrounds coming together.
"I am so happy that it has finally happened," Drag performer Indi Pendant says as she steps off stage, rainbow wig framing her make-up. She has just performed Born This Way by Lady Gaga.
Partway through her dance routine, she flings her shoes off and steps out into the crowd.
"I have always been a fan of Lady Gaga; she helped me when I was coming out. So, I thought why not, it's Pride. Let's put some Born This Way on," she says.
"The shoes weren't meant to come off, but you know, that's just part of it."
I think (the Festival) is something that Newcastle really needs. The fact that it is here just makes me so happy.Indi Pendant
Indi has been in Drag for five years.
"My parents didn't know. So, after school, I would sneak around to the person who I knew was gay around the corner and I was like "Oh my god, let's be fabulous"," she says. "I decided that was what I wanted to do. I just love entertaining people.
"I think (the Festival) is something that Newcastle really needs. The fact that it is here just makes me so happy."
Labor MP for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, says she didn't know what to expect before she arrived, but lauds the organisers for managing the turnout.
"After a very brutal week in Canberra, coming home to a lot of love is a very nice thing," she says.
The festival at Foreshore Park follows a sold-out short film event on Friday, as well as a 'Loud and Proud' dance party at Cooks Hill Surf Club on Saturday evening.