The days are ticking by, and there are now fewer than 200 sleeps until the German city of Cologne welcomes gay and lesbian athletes and supporters from around the world for Gay Games Cologne 2010.

As the event draws closer, there’s still time for undecided sports clubs and teams to commit to competing. Those attending either New Mardi Gras Fair Day (on Sunday February 21 at Victoria Park in Sydney) or ChillOut Carnival Day (on Sunday March 7 at Daylesford’s Victoria Park) will have a chance to discuss the Cologne Gay Games with Games organisers — and Cologne locals — themselves.

At both the New Mardi Gras and ChillOut stalls, those interested in making the trip to Cologne in July can receive information about discounted airfares from Australia, accommodation tips and a wealth of information about the sport and cultural program of Gay Games Cologne 2010. The Cologne residents manning the stalls will also be able to provide local insights about the ins and outs of their city, regarded as one of the secret hotspots of gay and lesbian life and culture in Europe.

Gay Games organisers expect more than 12,000 participants from all over the world to attend this year’s Games, and are already close to their goal of having the biggest Australian participation rate yet for an international Gay Games held outside of Australia.

With a few more registrations, they’ll hit the record — so now’s the perfect time to start planning a July jaunt to Cologne to experience the European summer and the undeniable buzz of a cosmopolitan city overrun with queer athletes from across the world.

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