What better way to celebrate than with an LGBT tweak on another traditional institution: the Viennese ball.
For a glamour-clad waltz with diversity, the Rainbow Ball (January 30) offers up a formal alternative to the codified trappings of traditional heterosexual offerings. Less formal affairs with drag-ball matrons include the The Rose Ball and The Wallflower Ball, both held the night of the famed Opera Ball (February 11). While the Rose Ball is more a glitzed-up nightclub spectacle within the framework of a ball at the Palais Auersberg (indeed, many come here as an afterparty to the Opera), The Wallflower Ball is more a homegrown party for an alternative mixed set at Club U within the Art Nouveau Otto Wagner Pavilion. Organized by H-a-p-p-y, one of Vienna’s gay community organizations, the dress code is mousy and beige and the most inconspicuous ball-goer is awarded a prize at midnight.
Unfettered from the traditional winter ball seasonand off-the-wall decadentthe Life Ball will be held July 17, with a red-carpet fashion show on the steps of the Rathaus (City Hall) and a late-night masquerade in its stunning baroque interiors. It’s Europe’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser and one helluva party . . . if you can get a ticket. Luckily, Jim Sherman did.
For general Vienna trip-planning info, including our top hotel picks, click here.
Tourism Vienna also has an excellent gay microsite with a wealth of trip-planning resources.