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Fabulous Affairs Happening This Mardi Gras Season

While we await Sydney’s night of nights – featuring a massive parade and endless parties – there are plenty of other things happening this Mardi Gras season to keep your jittering heels at bay.

Mardi Gras is much more than extravagant parades and rapturous soirées; it’s nearly a whole month of intimate gatherings, artistic exhibitions and rainbow-inspired creations. While many large events will be sold out by now, there are still some that await your gorgeous presence. So, to help beckon forward the upcoming parade and wild parties, we at Hunter and Bligh are sharing the top fabulous affairs happening this Mardi Gras season.

What are you waiting for, darling? Let’s get grooving!

Queer Art After Hours

Now in its third year, Queer Art After Hours returns in 2019 with a sparkling line-up of art, music, performance and much more. Featuring pop-up bars, tongue-in-cheek art tours, hands-on workshops, live music, queer art history stories and your last chance to see the major exhibition Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage, this is one fabulous night not to be missed.

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Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Rd, The Domain Wednesday February 27 Free entry

Fearless at The Birdcage, Sydney

With a glass of Mumm Grand Cordon on arrival, a 3 -course banquet and the show spectacular, this is the ultimate dinner and show package to celebrate Mardi Gras 2019. Fearless is an eclectic mix of professional show-pines and cabaret tribute icons, with feathers flouncing, sequins dazzling and drinks flowing.

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84 Union St, Pyrmont Wednesday, February 27 103.53

Miss Misfits at Misfits

Hosted by Sydney’s very own drag queen personality, April Fools, this is a catwalk like no other! Head up the stairs and enter through the secret bookcase for an evening of the best KWEEN music out there. Miss Misfits will be crowned with a tiara, sash, sceptre and gifted a cash prize. With all that strutting, refuel with an elderflower martini and indulge in some signature dishes.

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106 George Street, Redfern Friday, March 1 Free entry

Luna Park Family Fun Day

Every family has their rainbow sheep, which Luna Park desperately wants to celebrate about. For $36 (+bf), you gain access to the Crystal Palace Kids Dance Party in the Grand Ballroom featuring DJ Kate Monroe and plenty of fabulous activities. You also get unlimited rides all day! If you’re too old for the kids’ stuff, buy an unlimited rides ticket and simply have a gay day at Luna Park.

More info

Luna Park, Sydney 36

Mardi Gras Week at The Winery

The quirky urban garden oasis in the heart of Surry Hills, The Winery, will celebrate the oncoming Mardi Gras parade weekend with a festivity of shenanigans, food and drinks. Graze over BBQ’d platters of tasty Aussie treats (which includes vegan options), and watch a bunch of drag queens battle it out onstage in the ultimate drag battle to find the ‘Winery Surry Hills Lip Sync Champion’. And on the parade night (March 2), sit in comfort and watch the parade on the big screen!

More info

The Winery, 285A Crown St, Surry Hills February 26-March 1 20 entry

The 'Priscilla Cocktail' at The Glenmore

To celebrate Mardi Gras, The Glenmore team channels its inner Priscilla Queen of the Desert with limited edition ‘The Priscilla’ cocktail. Running throughout the month of March, it features raspberry liqueur, Maker’s Mark bourbon, lime, egg and garnished with fairy floss, flowers and of course the pride flag. Chookas!

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96 Cumberland Street, The Rocks Mardi Gras season 18

Colour the Streets

The streets of Barangaroo have been transformed into a queer hotspot for the Mardi Gras season, featuring plenty of gay events, art installations and gay food. Unleash your inner diva with an express makeover at the MAC counter in David Jones, snag a bean bag and immerse your senses at this year’s Live For Love three-storey art installation, or even browse the streets and devour all colours of the rainbow.

More info

Barangaroo, Sydney Mardi Gras season Free and paid events

Queer Contemporary

The National Art School’s iconic site represents queer past and future, from the infamous Wall to the huge success of the Museum of Love and Protest in 2018. This year’s exhibition, Queer Contemporary will involve exhibits, conversations, workshops, kids and family activities and the boutique Moonlite pop up bar named in honour of a former inmate – Bush Ranger Captain Moonlite and his lover James Nesbitt.

More info

National Art School, Darlinghurst February 15-March 2 Free and paid events

Passport Party

Before the big gay weekend begins, The Beresford in Darlinghurst will be welcoming all the visiting kweens from overseas. It’ll be a smorgasbord of culture while the dancefloor gets fully acquainted with the international DJ line up, including Wayne G (US), Neil Singleton (UK), French Kiss (FRA). Come on Aussies, let’s show the world how we really party! First 100 entrants get an Absolut on arrival.

More info

The Beresford, 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills Thursday, February 28 Free entry

Absolut YASSS QUEEN at Merivale

Hotel and club chain Merivale have partnered with Absolut Vodka to bring you a fierce cocktail called Absolut YASSS QUEEN. The truly outrageous pink tipple features Absolut Lime, watermelon, citrus, and lots of love. It can be purchased exclusively during the Mardi Gras season across a number of Merivale venues. Also, $2 from each cocktail sold will be donated to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, Australia’s longest-running HIV charity.

More info

Merivale venues across Sydney Until March 5 12