Today marks the beginning of Shepparton’s LGBTI festival Out in the Open 2018, which features a range of events through to Sunday.

Now in its seventh year, the festival brings queer events, talks and performers to the Greater Shepparton area in country Victoria.

 “Carnival Day on Saturday November 3 is our signature event,” says Festival Director Damien Stevens.

“With over 50 market stalls, food vendors, live entertainers, fun attractions, and a live ONE FM radio broadcast, this family-friendly event makes a great, free day out for everyone.”

Once again taking place at Queens Gardens, the day will feature Dykes on Bikes Melbourne, giant games and  a jumping castle.

Entertainment across the weekend includes shOUT Youth Chorus, Rosie Burgess Duo, King River Rising, Piña Tuteri, Jessica Lorraine, Past Present, KÖDA, Josh Sadkowski and Slade & Moon, presided over by emcee Krystal Ring.

Visitors can chow down on “crepes, coffee, hotdogs, baked potatoes, cocktails, snags and burgers too thanks to the local Lions Club”, Stevens says.

The festival also features information sessions and talks such like LGBTI Aged Care Training, an LGBTIQA+ Best Practice Forum, “The Gay Ability – One Man’s Life Lessons” and “PrEPare for PrEP”.

Saturday night features the Glitz Party, which Stevens describes as “a night of frivolity and debauchery” featuring drag shows starring Krystal Ring, Sexy Galexy, Ashley Madison and Slaysia.

Follow it up on Sunday with meditation, a community brunch, and check out the range of rainbow-adorned shops and cafes in Shepparton throughout the weekend.

Out in the Open runs from November 1 to 4. Head to their website to check out the full range of events: www.outintheopen.org.au

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