After last year's breakaway success of Bathurst's first organised Mardi Gras event, the popular LGBTQIA+ celebration will return to the community with a more visible presence on the events calendar.
Three events have been scheduled in Bathurst to honour the larger Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, which will be held virtually for the first time in 2021 due to COVID-19.
Two events will take place at Keystone 1889: a drag show on Saturday, February 27 featuring local drag queens Betty Confetti [Jonathan Hosking] and Khora Clinic [Kurt Booth] co-hosted by headspace Bathurst, and a Mardi Gras cabaret on March 7, featuring performances by a host of LGBTQIA+ creatives.
In addition, Betty will host a further event at The Oxford Hotel on March 6 to watch the Sydney parade live, with special performances, themed drinks and food.
Headspace Bathurst community engagement officer Isabelle Strickland said this Saturday's event will give Bathurst's LGBTQIA+ population a chance to get together in a safe place for a fun-filled event.
"It's a chance to celebrate Mardi Gras locally and spread awareness of the local LGBTQIA+ community," Ms Strickland said.
"Bathurst is such a lovely, accepting community, and where life can sometimes be isolating for a person in a smaller community who identifies as LGBTQIA+, these events help people feel they're not alone."
Keystone's Mardi Gras celebrations last year attracted 170 guests, and was one of the last major community events to be held before COVID-19 hit.
Owner Trish Carr said the venue prides itself on being an events destination celebrating the local LGBTQIA+ community.
"We had so much positive feedback after last year's event, and hopefully these two upcoming events will continue an annual tradition," Ms Carr said.
Mr Booth, who is co-organising the cabaret, said the event is poised to attract a wide range of LGBTQIA+ creatives.
"The cabaret will double as a high tea, and will feature performances from Sammy Taylor, Alex Vidler and many more," he said.
"It'll have a very classy vibe, and will certainly provide a significant level of sophistication to Mardi Gras celebrations.
Tickets to the cabaret cost $55 via Eventbrite and include high tea.
The headspace event, entitled Queens Duet Better, is free, but requires registration via Eventbrite to record attendance.