Australia: Hundreds of thousands expected for biggest Sydney Mardi Gras so far
As the 35th Mardi Gras kicks off in Sydney, organisers expect hundreds of thousands of people in what is expected to be one of the biggest in the event’s history.
Organisers said that around 10,000 performers on 110 floats would take place in a parade described as containing “tapestry, fun and frivolity”, reports News.com.au.
Michael Rolike, the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO, said that joining the hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets would be some of those who took part in the first Mardi Gras march in 1978.
“This year’s parade celebrates 35 years history, from very humble beginnings,” he said.
The event’s creative director, Ignatius Jones, said that the first float would be “dedicated to the 78ers, the first generation”.
Notably, for the first time, the armed forces will also be “proudly marching in uniform”, Jones said. He went on to say that they expected a big youth presence, as well as those from the first ever staging of the event.
“There are quite a number of floats concentrating on youth, actually built by youth, dedicated to such things like sexual identity, bullying, depression and even youth suicide,” he said.
Responding to one Twitter user who tweeted asking if the parade would go ahead, the official Mardi Gras page responded: “the forecast of ‘a few showers’? Yes. The parade is most definitely 100% absolutely on.”
Some performers will also be dressed as the controversial Queensland MP, Bob Katter. Bob Katter, an outspoken opponent of equal marriage, founded Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) in 2011.
Recently a member of the party who was suspended for tweeting that he thought gay people should not allowed to be teachers saidthat equal marriage was making KAP “collapse”. He was the second party member in a matter of days to be forced to leave over homophobic comments.