The lead float in this year’s Mardi Gras parade will be a play on the official season theme Our Freedom, Your Freedom.

According to a reliable source, Parade 2005’s lead entry will highlight the 82 countries where homosexuality is still illegal. And anyone with ties to such a country might want to give Mardi Gras a call.

In party news, Mardi Gras confirmed this week what SSO revealed back in January: Tina Arena will perform at this year’s party, along with former Eurovision Song Contestant Nicki French.

French is best known for her 1995 Number One dance version of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse Of The Heart. According to Mardi Gras, more big names will be announced closer to the event.

Early bird tickets are available until Friday 11 February for $99/ $89/ $65 from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au.

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