W Hotels are encouraging Australians to rise to the challenge and love out loud. Following the announcement of W Hotels as a major partner of the 2021 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for the second consecutive year, the W team will gear up for the biggest annual celebration of pride and passion in Sydney to show the brand’s longstanding support of the LGBTQI+ community.

“We are proud to be teaming up with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras for the second year to celebrate inclusivity and equality,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand Marketing and Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’re welcome at W Hotels. This is core to our brand experience, and we will continue to strive to be global leaders in promoting this message of acceptance through culture and creativity.”

Showcasing a playful twist on Australia’s much-loved Mr. Whippy van, W’s Witty & Whippy van roamed the streets of Sydney in celebration, popped up at iconic Sydney locations ahead of the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on March 6. The one day only event saw the Witty & Whippy van serving up two exclusive W Hotels x Mardi Gras ice-cream flavors at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, The Coogee Rainbow Walkway at Coogee Beach and the renowned Mardi Gras Workshop on February 27. Nearby communities kept their ears open and eyes peeled for the remixed Greensleeves jingle for the chance to grab a complimentary, limited edition soft serve cone. Flavors included the Rainbow Rise and the Love Out Loud. Those lured by the nostalgic Greensleeves track, with a cheeky remix from drag queen DJ-duo Jawbreakers, also heard Australia’s most well-known and celebrated drag queen, Courtney Act, who lent her famous vocals to the track.

Joining thousands of revelers for Sydney’s biggest night, the iconic march will feature over 130 dazzling floats that have been reimagined to the grounds of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for a COVID-safe celebration. The W Hotels float will host a range of talent: from winners of The Amazing Race Australia 2019, Tim and Rod, to TikTok sensation Samantha Andrew who will be choreographed by the esteemed New Ground Collective.

“We are excited to participate again in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in support of individuality while following the COVID safety plans set in place,” said Sean Hunt, Area Vice President – Australia, New Zealand & Pacific – Marriott International. “I am beyond excited to see the Witty & Whippy van and campaign come to life, with associates, guests and friends of the brand marching, dancing and loving out loud and proud.”

Known for defying expectations and breaking the norms of traditional luxury, W Brisbane opened its doors in June 2018, with W Melbourne following suit in February 2021, and W Sydney coming next in 2022.