It's time to gear up to go "beyond the rainbow" during an 11-day celebration of the city's LGBTI community early next month.
Now in its eighth year, the Goulburn Valley's Out In the Open Festival presents performances, dining experiences, education opportunities, tours and workshops during the first week of November.
The festival combines past favourites such as the popular Carnival Day in Queen's Gardens with new events such as the United We Feast dinner at Shepparton's Philippine House.
Festival director Damien Stevens-Todd said the festival was for everyone, but with a particular focus on the region's gender diverse community.
“It's so important to provide a safe space for regional living, culturally and linguistically diverse people who are LGBTIQA+,” Mr Stevens-Todd said.
Carnival Day from 10.30am on Sunday, November 3, includes more than 50 attractions combining food stalls, family activities and a big line-up of musical acts from Melbourne and the Goulburn Valley, including Cry Club, Huntly, Krystal Ring, Bailey Slade, Phoebe Bell, Pharmy Dhillon and the The New Science, Past Present, Jeffry's Cabbage and The Murks.
As part of the festival, Shepparton Theatre Arts Group will perform the powerful theatrical piece The Laramie Project which deals with small town prejudice and the murder of American gay student Matthew Shepard in 1998.
Other events include a Saturday night Glitz Party, a book signing for About A Girl which tells the story of raising a transgender child, an Art Silo Tour, and a Murray River cruise from Echuca.
The Out in the Open Festival runs from Friday, October 31, to Sunday November 10.
For the full program go to http://outintheopen.org.au