To celebrate my favourite time of the year, AND the 40th Anniversary of Sydney Mardi Gras, I’ve compiled list of what some may consider the “official guide to your LGBTQI+ social calendar throughout February and March.” It features a handpicked selection of the best official Mardi Gras parties that you absolutely can’t miss, and a couple that you probably will miss because they’ve already sold out. (click the artwork below for further info & ticketing links)

WHAT: Fair Day
WHEN: Sunday, 18 February 2018 (10am – 8pm)
WHERE: Victoria Park, Camperdown

This massive outdoors event kicks off the start of the Sydney Mardi Gras season. It’s a seasonal favourite that showcases the very best of the LGBTQI+ community.

You’ll find me loitering around in the Sports Village, mostly because of the live wrestling demonstrations and the water polo team casually sunning themselves. Doggywood is another sweet spot to check out, because who doesn’t love seeing happy doggos wearing adorable costumes!

WHAT: Sissy Ball
WHEN: Saturday, 24 February 2018 (5pm – 11:30pm)
WHERE: Carriageworks, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: Up to $70

Yesterday, I watched this documentary, called ‘Kiki’ (2016), which introduced me to this wonderful subculture of the same name. It all started in NYC, born out of the vogueing scene (see the doco ‘Paris Is Burning’ for more info).

Well, Sydney is having its very own Kiki! It’s a Ballroom competition celebrating performance art, fashion, attitude and dance – and it’s going to be fierce!

It’s not confirmed just yet, but I reckon it’s safe to say that this inaugural Sissy Ball is destined to become an annual event. Fingers crossed, at least!

WHAT: Pool Party
WHEN: Monday, 26 February 2018 (2pm – 11pm)
WHERE: Ivy Pool Club, Sydney
HOW MUCH: Sold Out (and highly sought after)

I’m kicking myself that I missed out on tickets to this event! Maybe you haven’t heard, but some Sydney pool parties have the tendency to attract a particular crowd of beautiful douchebags – but not this one. This party is full of super friendly, interesting, chilled and engaging people… Sure, everyone here is completely sexy too, but it’s just not “all” they are. If anyone has a hookup for a couple of media passes, please send them my way!

WHAT: Mardi Gras Parade
WHEN: Saturday, 03 March 2018 (7pm – 11pm)
WHERE: Oxford Street and Flinders Street, Darlinghurst

I love this event – but honestly, everyone loves this event!!

International friends have said it’s their favourite of all the other LGBTQI+ parades around the world. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Parade, which means everything is going to be bigger, brighter and more dazzling than ever before. The floats are always an awesome mix of kinky, political, tongue-in-cheek, highly choreographed, and heartfelt; each with an important message of support for the community.

Keep an eye out for me in the ‘Incredi-Gays’ float – it’s gearing up to be something pretty special.

WHAT: Mardi Gras Party
WHEN: Saturday, 03 March 2018 (10pm – 8am)
WHERE: Fox Studios/The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
HOW MUCH: Sold Out (Sorry!)

If you were lucky enough to score tickets before the Mardi Gras Party sold out (in record time too!), you’ll be joining 12,000’ish of your nearest and dearest friends to witness history being made – Happy 40th Anniversary, Sydney Mardi Gras!!

Joining the celebration will be Cher, in her first Australian performance since 2005, and Sydney has been losing its shit over this ever since this was announced.

Sadly, the Party has sold out, so if you don’t have tickets yet, I’d probably start looking for a backup plan. Fortunately there’s a heap of unofficial Mardi Gras parties happening throughout Sydney on the same night, so luck is still on your side.

There really is a lot going on this year, and you can check out the full program over at the Sydney Mardi Gras website:

Wishing you all a safe and incredible Mardi Gras! ❤❤❤

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author: Simon Edds