More than 10,000 pumped up participants marched, danced, sometimes rugby scrummed, their way up Oxford Street in Sydney last night for the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade.
The weather threatened, but held off and as the full moon rose across the harbour city an estimated 200,000 people crammed every vantage point to see the finale to the three week festival.
Led by the traditional parade openers, Dykes on Bikes and the first generation of Australians float, the two hour extravaganza encompassed all aspects of the wider community not just the LGBT.
The retiring NSW Governor was there, politicians from all sides and a touching moment when some of Australia’s top sports personalities stood together to proclaim an end to homophobia in sport.
In fact sport was a massive theme for the night. The parade was full of rugby union players, Australian rules footballers, soccer players, roller bladers even the video gaming community was represented.
There was also support from the corporates. The banks, namely ANZ, already have involvement but we also saw QANTAS and their amazing float coveted by Courtney Act. Google had a tribe following there video float of inclusiveness and one of the festival sponsors AirBnb had the rolling “House Float” pumping out the tunes across the parade route.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian 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,” Mr Rolik said.
The biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the Armed Services and Police float which featured a female officer booming out a fine rendition of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.
“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”
As the parade wound its way to its resting point in Moore Park, the party in Sydney kicked off with venues across the strip full to the brim as revelers tried to find somewhere they could drink to celebrate after standing in the alcohol free crowds for up to four hours.
Many also headed just out of the CBD to the old Sydney Showgrounds where the Mardi Gras Party entertained the crowds until 8am this morning.
Last Updated on Mar 25, 2015