Sydney Mardi Gras Parade
2 min read

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade will hit the streets of Sydney on Saturday night and if you don’t know where to find a spot, then just open Google Maps, they have prepared a rainbow guide line just for Mardi Gras.

As part of Google’s support of Sydney Mardi Gras, a rainbow line has today been placed along the parade route on the map. This all comes off the back of Google’s ongoing involvement, this year not as a sponsor but as a sponsor of the LGBTI community.

Instead of forking out sponsorship dollars, Google has provided the same amount of funds as previous years and donated those funds towards 17 floats for LGBTI community groups that may or may not  have been able to afford to enter the parade.


These floats will appear in Saturday night’s parade through Sydney Streets and they include Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Support Group Australia, Selamat Datang, People with Disability Australia, Lifesavers with Pride, Trans Sydney with Pride, Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council & Departure Lounge, Psychedelic Love, Sydney Women’s AFL, The Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists, Wett Ones Sydney Swim Team, Inner City Legal Centre, DAYENU, Gay Tradies, Oceania Rainbow, Flourish Australia and Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club.

Google's rainbow parade route marker (Google Maps)
Google’s rainbow parade route marker (Google Maps)

Standing on a milk crate beside Oxford Street, in comfort on one of the exclusive viewing areas or taking part on a float or walking the route, the Sydney Mardi Gras parade today harvests the passion and pride of the LGBTI community and celebrates it with the world.

But sobering to remember that it was not always full of surf lifesavers and dykes on bikes but began as a single political protest in 1978 that had involved 1500 marches and resulted in 53 marches arrests.

Then in 1979, a parade was held to commemorate the march of the previous year. It was Sydney’s contribution to the international Gay Solidarity Celebrations, an event that had grown up as a result of the Stonewall riots in New York. But it helped change laws in New South Wales about conducting protests, a major civil rights milestone beyond the gay community.

Today the Sydney Mardi Gras festival stretches across three weeks and covers a wide spectrum of events but the parade still remains the shining star and is the only aspect of the packed program that continues to capture the attention of the entire Sydney community.

Sydney Mardi Gras Crowds - Images are shot by Jeffrey Feng for SGLMG 2016.
Sydney Mardi Gras Crowds – Images are shot by Jeffrey Feng for SGLMG 2016.

Approximately 300,000 people view the parade that snakes through the inner eastern suburb streets of Sydney, past some of the cities most well known gay venues, finishing in the city’s sporting precinct that then hosts the official party.

In 2012 the parade reached 10,000 participants for the first time and with interest growing worldwide, including New Zealand, expectations are that the 2017 event could break all the records despite the rain.

So, you’ve picked your viewing point, got your rainbow flag, glitter face paint, and hot pants, all you need to know is who to look out for as you cheer on the parade from the sidelines.

Find out the parade order and more details here.

Last Updated on Mar 4, 2017

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