Venerable Surry Hills mainstay The Beresford is gearing up to celebrate Mardi Gras in 2020 with a series of spectacular events.
Celebrations begin on Fair Day (February 16), from 7pm to 1am. Drag divas Decoda Secret, Minnie Cooper and Jacqui St Hyde will be hell-raising and hair-raising upstairs.
The following week, on February 23 The Beresford will host a dog show in their courtyard. Bring in your pooch for the chance to be crowned 'Best in Show' (with all profits from food and drink donated to Wires Wildlife Rescue.) Meanwhile, upstairs, Equality Australia presents a panel discussion that will cover issues such as the federal Religious Discrimination Bill. From 3pm until late in the courtyard, activewear, underwear and swimwear label Teamm8 will take over and strut its latest looks with giveaways and drag shows.
Beyond its regular Sunday extravaganzas, The Beresford takes a run-up to Mardi Gras with a week of extra programming. On Monday February 24 there will be a Mardi Gras open-air screening of The Bird Cage (or catch Hairspray on March 2). On Tuesday 25, there’s the Minnie Cooper cabaret show It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore, while on Wednesday 26 “Bingay” – the Beresford’s take on bingo – promises camp chaos. On Thursday 27, the annual Passport Party with DJs and hostess Decoda Secret will get you good and loose for Friday’s Super Camp party (tickets available here), with ’90s pop anthems courtesy of DJs Dan Murphy, Jake Kilby, Division 4 and more.
Take a front row seat in The Beresford’s courtyard for the official Mardi Gras parade on February 29, and take full advantage of the in-house Absolut cocktails. If you’ve managed to pace yourself – and were lucky enough to score tickets – come back at 2pm on Sunday for Laneway, the Mardi Gras closing party. Taking place across three spaces – downstairs at the Beresford bistro, the VIP area upstairs and the main stage in the laneway – it’ll feature star turns from Pabllo Vittar, Corey Craig and heaps more.