Out in the Open is an annual festival held in Greater Shepparton, celebrating all things pride, diversity, and inclusion.

The festival runs over the first weekend in November, and this year things are kicking off with a networking event on Thursday November 2 called Blended Fruits.

Bringing together industry professionals and community members for a night of music, guest speakers, and drinks at Noble Monks in the heart of Shepparton, this is the perfect way to begin a weekend of family-friendly fun, friendship, and frivolity.

Festival volunteers will be co-ordinating 12 events over the weekend, aiming to cater to everyone—if you can’t make it to everything, you’re sure to find one or two events that tickle your fancy.

On Friday, Diversity Project is running a trans and gender-diverse youth inclusive practice training session. Come and learn more, ask questions and understand language that perhaps you are curious about. Open to all community members, industry professionals and community workers, the forum will also focus on gender-diverse children.

On Friday night a courtesy bus will run to the Peppermill Inn for eats and treats from 5:30 pm, before heading to Shepparton’s Bakehouse Blackbox Theatre at 8pm for a queer comedic duo like you have never seen before.

The free and accessible carnival day on Saturday in the heart of the Shepparton CBD will feature live music all day, food and drinks, and market and information stalls, along with activities for kids. Charity donations received on carnival day will go to Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation.

Saturday night will see a huge glamour party in Jacks Bar from 8pm, hosted by local drag favourite Rhubarb Rouge. The evening of glitz and glamour will feature dancing and drag shows throughout the night.

Wake to a beautiful earth meditation in Queens Gardens on Sunday from 9:30 am, before a scrumptious big community brunch at Lemon Tree Café at 11am hosted by Goulburn Valley Pride.

The festival has partnered with The Community Fund Goulburn Valley to bring First Girl I Loved to Shepparton Village Cinemas.

Over the past five years, Out in the Open has grown to become well-known throughout Victoria. The organisers thank the many local groups, organisations and charities who have supported the festival.

If you’re planning to head along, the $60 Festival Pass gives you access to Friday night’s comedy evening, Saturday night’s glamour party and Sunday morning’s big community brunch.

To find out more information and for great deals visit the festival website at: outintheopen.org.au.

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