Registrations for the long-running Dr Mark’s Marching Academy Mardi Gras parade group are now open. The Academy’s award-winning entries in recent years have included Outback Mountin’, Kylie’s Impossible Princesses, the 400 Divas thru the Decades, and this year’s ICONs theme.

In 2011, the group will use the march as an opportunity to celebrate the hit TV show Glee, embraced by the gay community for its positive portrayal of gay teenagers. In an early episode of the series, villainous sports coach Sue Sylvester rails against ‘sneaky gays’ – and Marching Academy members are following suit, with a message that gay people should “stand out, be proud and stop the sneakiness”.

If you’d like to join the group, register as soon as possible – New Mardi Gras will limit parade numbers in 2011, so places will be limited and decided on a first come, first served basis.

First release registration fees for friends of the group are $75, open release from December 1 costs $85, and later entries (after January 1) cost $90.

The Marching Academy is a self-funded community group, so these contributions help to pay for the hire of trucks, generators, sound and lighting.

To register for Dr Mark’s Marching Academy, visit

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