It’s come and gone, like the sweetest dream! The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras brought all things fierce and fabulous to Sydney. An estimated 200,000 lined Oxford and Flinders Streets as 145 floats and more than 10,000 participants sashayed along the sequin-soaked parade route.
The theme for the 37th year of Mardi Gras was ‘Passion’ and that’s exactly what the participants brought to the Parade. Members of the LGBTQI community and their supporters from all over the world came together in a flurry of colour and pandemonium to celebrate and champion equal rights.
The diverse range of entries included Aboriginal Project ACON/First Australians – Freedom featuring Destiny Has Arrived; The ‘78ers; Beyondblue; DIY Rainbow – Make Your Own Magic!; the NSW Police and Emergency Services; and the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Street Sweepers.
After a 9-year absence, Ron Muncaster returned as the belle of the parade in a spectacular Egyptian inspired entry; the Sydney Convicts Rugby Club – Proud to Play; Rainbow Babies and Kids; and People with Disability Australia – Passion 4 Disability featuring a giant set of red lips.
Reflecting on the parade, Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik said, “The combined efforts of everyone involved delivered a real stand out Parade. The attention to detail and enthusiasm of all the parade participants ensured there was a sea of smiling faces from the crowd.”
“Aside from all the fabulous colour and excitement there were some wonderfully touching moments in the Parade. Seeing some of Australia’s top sports personalities standing together to put an end to homophobia in sport was truly inspirational.”
“We were also honoured to have Dame Marie Bashir accompanied by her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie as this year’s Chiefs of Parade. I feel I speak for the LGBTQI community when I say we appreciate their continued support and friendship.”
“We also had a first for Mardi Gras! Three of Australia’s highest ranking officials walked the Parade route with the Australian Defence Forces float. Their involvement has helped spread the message of acceptance, equality and support throughout the armed forces and the entire Australian community.”
Mr. Rolik also praised the behaviour of spectators on the night, at an hour when many of the revellers continued to celebrate Mardi Gras at the Party, which took over several venues in Moore Park until 8am.
Guests of the Party were treated to an incredible line up of international and home grown music acts including: Nick Jonas, Dannii Minogue, Jake Shears, Jessica Mauboy, Betty Who, Rufus Wainwright and Courtney Act.
For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.
Image: Joslyn Kent Photography