The 2004 Mardi Gras parade awards were presented last Saturday at a special volunteers event at Home nightclub, with winners including rainbow babies, Asian marching boys and a naughty archbishop.

The Best Individual Entrant winner was Kevin Gadd, who satirised Catholic archbishop George Pell, and the Asian Marching Boys won for Best Choreographed Group, for an entry featuring over 80 participants with the theme Make Love, Not War.

Judging criteria centred on resourcefulness and the value of the entries’ messages, coordinator of the awards Mark Barraket told Sydney Star Observer.

It wasn’t necessarily about the biggest and the best, but about the entry that best put forward the message of the group with the resources that they had, he said.

A perfect example was final award winner Jenny and Craig, who won for Best Small Group. Kabi and Philip Ruble walked the parade route twice -“ first in fat suits and then without -“ in what the pair described as the ultimate two-hour extreme Mardi Gras makeover reality renovation blitz experience.

What made it worthwhile was when you made eye contact with people the second time around and they realised what we did, the looks were of total respect. Kabi told the Star.

Best Out-Of-Town entrant was won by Vic Presence and Best Community Entrant was awarded to the Rainbow Babies, who were accompanied in the parade by gay and lesbian marching band The Homotones.

The Judges Choice went to HeLem, an entry created by representatives of Sydney’s Arabic GLBTQ community and featuring a four-metre Aladdin’s lamp.

Judges for the 2004 awards were Jan Burnswoods MLC, Stefan Elliot, Bruce Pollack and Kathy Pavlich.

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