"More half-naked torsos than
an Trade party night"
see Gay Guide to Sydney)
audience of over 500,000 people descended on Oxford Street in
Sydney's Darlinghurst district (the heart of gay Sydney) to watch
the 23rd annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
parade itself featured over 220 floats and 7500 participants led
as usual by the roaring engines for of The Dykes on Bikes.
eclectic mix of floats represented all sections of the gay and
lesbian communities from both Australia and around the world.
Political messages were intermingled with the humourous and outright
flamboyant. Highlights included the "Gayviation float" representing
the large number of gay men working in the airline industry. Airlines
represented included "Hair New Zealand", Germany's "Puftansa",
and Australia's own "Qutass" (cute ass). Nearer to home Queer
Ireland's theme was "Angela's Lashes", giving a queer angle on
the recent film release of a similar name.
present at the parade included Sir Ian Mckellen, Molly Ringwald,
Ewan Mcgregor as well as Men Behaving Badly stars Martin Clunes
and Neil Morrissey.
the parade the climax in every sense was the Mardi Gras Ball.
25,000 partygoers packed into two huge arenas to dance the night
away fueled apparently from large quantities of bottled water.
The totty quotient was in the high nineties with bare flesh being
the main fashion statement. The smaller women's and men's only
tents allowed people to meet friends they didn't know they had.
parade and party brought to a end almost three week's of Mardi
Gras themed festivities. Over the last few weeks gay and lesbian
events included "Fair Day", "Shop yourself Stupid", Frocks at
and a swimming gala, the list is endless. The overall aim has
been to raise funds for HIV and AIDS charities including the high
profile Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. It should be noted that Mardi
Gras also brings in around AUS$1 million in tourist revenue to
the Sydney economy, second only to the amount expected from the
Olympics later this year.
is the size of the parade that it warrants a 2.5 hour programme
on Channel 10 television and most newspapers carried full colour
photo spreads. The police treat the parade as a family event with
little or no trouble expected.
should be noted that no Drag Queens were harmed in the making
of Mardi Gras.
If you were there and want a souvenir of the event you can order
the official Sydney Mardigras albums on this page. Next year Sydney
Mardigras parade/ball is on Saturday 3rd March 2001.
Sydney Mardigras 2000 web site
Morning Herald coverage of Mardigras 2000
Sydney MardiGras includes links to gay friendly accommodation
Guide to Sydney
following travel agents and airlines can probably help you arrange
Holidays offer a number of dedicated gay holiday packages
to Sydney / Sydney Mardigras including accommodation, trips,
harbour cruise etc plus tickets for the main parade and after
Contact: Sensations Holidays, 89 Wembley Park Drive,
Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 8HS
Tel: 020 8902 7177. Website: www.sensationsholidays.com
Admittedly Sydney Mardigras was our major raison d'être
for being in Sydney. The parade was impressive despite being slightly
overlong for those with a short attention span. The Mardigras
ball afterwards certainly lived up to expectations. Two huge venues
packed to capacity with more half naked torsos than an average
Trade party night. If you're going for a fortnight plan to go
earlier than later. Once the parade and ball takes place on the
Saturday things do quieten down drastically.
There are also plenty of other things to do in Sydney so you don't
have to totally overdoes on gaydom. And finally if you thought
the British summer was unpredictable then so is Sydney's. With
"La Nina" fucking up climate conditions in the southern
hemisphere don't forget to pack your brolly for the odd damp day,
something that doesn't seem to get overlooked in the travel brochures.
(Also see Gay Guide to Sydney)