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Gay Travel Guide to Sydney Mardigras 2000

"More half-naked torsos than an Trade party night"

(Also see Gay Guide to Sydney)

An 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.

The parade itself featured over 220 floats and 7500 participants led as usual by the roaring engines for of The Dykes on Bikes.

The 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.

Celebrities present at the parade included Sir Ian Mckellen, Molly Ringwald, Ewan Mcgregor as well as Men Behaving Badly stars Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey.

After 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.

The 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 Fox, 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.

Such 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.

It 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.

Useful Links
Official Sydney Mardigras 2000 web site
Sydney Morning Herald coverage of Mardigras 2000
Citysearch Sydney MardiGras includes links to gay friendly accommodation
Timeout Guide to Sydney

Getting there:
The following travel agents and airlines can probably help you arrange your trip
Sta Travel
Quantas airlines

Gay Travel Agents:
Click here for more information Sensations 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 party.

Contact: Sensations Holidays, 89 Wembley Park Drive, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 8HS
Tel: 020 8902 7177. Website: Email


Summary: 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)

Useful Travel Guides

Timeout Guide to Sydney - Click here for more information or to buy

Rough Guide to Sydney - Click here for more information or to buy
Sydney Pride 2000 Compilation album - click here to buy
Sydney Mardi Gras 2000 - Official Album - Click here to buy


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