Organisers of Newcastle's second annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex pride festival said it's main event on Saturday was an "absolute success", estimating 10,000 people attended Fair Day at Foreshore Park.
President of Newcastle Pride Lee-Anne McDougall described the "whole day as a highlight", saying the fair was "absolutely bigger than last year" with more attendees and participating stalls.
The event involved a dog parade, drag shows, children's activities, market-stalls, food and information stands about local services for LGBTI people and their families.
Ms McDougall said one particular moment during the day, a crowd singalong to Absolutely Everybody, made her "emotional".
"The atmosphere was just ... I can't explain it. Everyone was so happy and proud," she said.
"It's [the festival] what we needed in Newcastle and everyone has embraced it. It's a space where everybody has the freedom to be themselves."
Ms McDougall said she had met people who travelled from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and the Central Coast to participate in the four-day long event. Newcastle Pride kicked off on Friday with 'Twisted Cabaret' at Newcastle Town Hall and will close on Monday night with a forum on LGBTI service personnel at Newcastle Library.
On Saturday night, the Cambridge Hotel hosted a "Back to Pipers" party that sold out, with 800 people in attendance.
Ms McDougall said the Newcastle Pride committee was planning an even bigger program in 2020 due to the growth in attendance and interest in the festival this year.
The Hill resident Tim Jackson, who is perhaps better known as drag queen Timberlina, said this was his first year in attendance at Fair Day. Timberlina hosted a "drag queen storytime" event at Newcastle Library on Thursday as well as a "drag-off" competition at The Exchange Hotel on Sunday as part of the festival.
"I think it was very much needed and is still needed. All we can do is keep making it bigger in years to come," Mr Jackson said.
Hunter Gender Alliance was one of the local groups with an information stall at the event. The organisation advocates for the rights and well-being of transgender and gender diverse people in the Hunter. Vice president Jo Mills said Fair Day was an exciting event for regional NSW.
"It was great seeing all the young ones wearing their flags. I grew up in country NSW in the eighties and you would occasionally see the odd snippet about Mardi Gras. You didn't have the chance to spend a day like this hanging out with your friends and that being okay and also being celebrated."