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Already set to shatter attendance records, Super Bowl XLV at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Dallas, is bringing novelty to the over 100,000 superfans: a first-ever LGBT sports-themed street fair, plus a separate three-day circuit-esque party. Gay sports fans, this one's for you.
The Cedar Springs Super Street Party (ShopCedarSprings.com) kicks off Saturday, February 5 on “The Strip” in Oaklawn, the city's gay neighborhood and bar epicenter. A pedestrian-only affair with plenty of Bud Light on tap (they're a sponsor), there will be live entertainment by Chaz Marie and the Band, DJ sets, food vendors, games, and an appearance by hunk-a-riffic swimmer Michael Holtz, named “Gay Athlete of the Year” by Compete Magazine. Bars will be open as well, so don't miss your chance to two-step with a cowboy at the Round-Up Saloon, a sprawling, clean and friendly country-western joint with a massive dance floor and one of the most fun times I've ever had at a gay bar. Entry is free. 7pm–1am.
For a more party-party atmosphere – think over 7,000 people in a giant tent-enclosed space plus 5,000-sq-ft dance floor – grab tickets to XLV Party, a three-night blowout at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas' historic Fair Park. A red carpet entrance and glam focus promise some celeb attendance. (Video preview, below.)
Thursday, February 3 kicks off real gay with DJ sets by Hector Fonseca, dragsters Lady Bunny and NYC's Cazwell, plus performances by Lena Katina (one half of the faux-lesbian Russian duo t.A.T.u) and The Village People. Yes, those Village People. Proceeds from the night benefit AIDS-organization DIFFA Dallas. Expect a more straight-mixed crowd on Friday and Saturday with DJ sets by electro-pop maestros Passion Pit and Duran Duran's Roger Taylor, plus live dance-hall reggae rock rhythms of Sublime with Rome and official Beastie Boys cover band Rhymin & Stealin. Tickets are $120 general admission till February 2 ($225 at the door), with VIP add-ons (like drink tickets) and table/bottle service available. Visit XLVParty.com for more info and to book.
Get the official scoop on Super Bowl XLV for tickets and last-minute packages at NorthTexasSuperBowl.com or visit Dallas' excellent gay microsite, GLBTDallas.com. For general trip-planning info check out our Dallas Travel Guide.