Sydney Mardi Gras

February 28, 2014

The Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the largest LGBTQI festivals in the world.  The main Mardi Gras Parade is held on the first Saturday in March every year but the festivities get underway about three weeks prior to that.  It’s best to book flights well in advance which you can do through Flightsite.

This fabulous festival kicks off with a Fair Day which is regularly attended by over 70 000 people annually and features a number of stalls, food items and chill areas. The crowning of Mr and Mrs Fair Day is one of the highlights of this fun event.

From then on Sydney comes alive with cabarets, comedy, music, theatre and sports events. The Mardi Gras Film Festival premieres various international and local gay and lesbian films and several literature and arty events takes place.  Enlightening forums and conferences, such as the academic discussion panel Queer Thinking are also on offer.

On the Saturday before the main parade, the Harbour Party takes place on the water’s edge, against a backdrop of the Sydney Opera House, with cocktail bars, chill-out zones and popular DJ’s to get things going.

There’s not a motor vehicle in sight when Sydney’s drag queens and kings hit the beach for the Bondi Beach Drag Races on the Friday night preceding the parade. With competitions such as competitive feminine posing; beached volleyball; three-heeled/tripod racing; handbag discus and the dainty dune dash on the cards, a good laugh is guaranteed at this informal event.

What started off as a protest march has evolved into a colourful celebration of LGBTQI individuality – the Mardi Gras Parade is a massive event and one of the largest tourism income spinners on the Sydney calendar.

Over 8,500 participants will line up on the second Saturday this March to wow over 300 000 spectators with bikes, elaborate floats and fireworks in a glittering extravaganza of freedom of expression.  The parade is followed by an equally extravagant and festive party, featuring the hottest local and international LGBT bands.  This event is usually attended by about 20 000 revellers and is simply known as THE party.

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