A mass gay marriage, a huge party at Federation Square and a chunky line-up of queer talent -“ it must be the Melbourne Midsumma festival.

The 16th Midsumma program was launched this week, outlining three weeks of art, literature, theatre, music, cabaret, film, forum, sport and parties.

The highlight could be the opening night Summa Fling party on Friday 23 January. Architectural marvel Federation Square will turn frosted pink with live performances, DJs, Fastlove -“ a speed dating contest -“ and two hours of continuous catwalk drag performances.

International guests including performance poetry star Staceyann Chin and singer-songwriter Doria Roberts are coming over for Midsumma.

On Sunday 1 February the annual Pride March will travel along Fitzroy St, St Kilda. And the famous Midsumma Carnival will take over Alexandra Gardens for 12 hours on Sunday 15 February.

The carnival will feature three stages, 100 stalls and an expected 60,000 punters -“ some of whom will become happily committed on the day. Summa Vows is A Guinness Book of World Records attempt at the world’s largest gay and lesbian commitment ceremony. Couples must register on the day to take part.

Midsumma Melbourne, a gay and lesbian community celebration, runs from Friday 23 January to Sunday 15 February. Full details are available in the program or online at www.midsumma.org.au.

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