Cowboys, cowgirls and lots of them. That’s what you can expect to see in this year’s Mardi Gras parade when it rolls through Darlinghurst next Saturday night.

A number of floats are preparing to adopt a Brokeback Mountain theme, while others are doing Harry Potter and Little Britain characters.

Shane Pascoe, the man behind drag identity Joyce Maynge, is putting together the Brokeback Mormons float.

What we’ve got is a bunch of very sexily clad cowboys and cowgirls pursuing a bunch of conservative Mormons who are holding placards saying -˜Cowboys are straight’, -˜More Mormon movies’, -˜Ban gay films’, Pascoe explained.

I wanted to get the message of censorship across after the film was banned at cinemas in Utah.

The float will also feature a bucking bull, two enormous cans of baked beans and, of course, a tent of passion with steam coming out of it, Pascoe said.

TV presenter and sometime Dikes On Mikes judge, Ian Dicko Dickson, revealed this week he would also be dressed as a cowboy on New Mardi Gras’ celebrity-themed float.

Gay cowboys are the buzzword for this year, and given John Wayne’s real name was Marion I thought it would be appropriate, Dicko told The Daily Telegraph.

The float will also feature the likes of former Bardot singer Tiffany Wood, Nova’s Bianca Dye, socialite Bessie Bardot, Good Morning Australia‘s Moira and a smattering of Australian Idol stars including most recent winner Kate DeAraugo.

A New Mardi Gras spokesperson said they were seeking more celebrities and hoped Sydney’s queer community might be able to convince their famous pals to join (email

One float looking for real-life cowboys is the gay farmers entry Outback Jacks. Organiser Dave Graham said he was seeking more queer cowpokes after five of the 28 participants pulled out this week because they were afraid of upsetting their families back home.

We’re all outback blokes and it’s sending the message to young guys out there thinking they don’t have a place in the bush that they do. Because there’s a shitload of farmers out here who are gay and are doing well, he said (email Graham at

Youth support organisation Twenty10 has gone with a Harry Potter theme this year because it’s a story the young people felt they could relate to.

We decided that Harry Potter’s experience of leaving an unfriendly family environment and going to a school of wizardry and witchcraft was similar to the experience many young people have coming to Twenty10, leaving unfriendly and unwelcoming home environments and finding somewhere they’re welcomed and accepted and made to feel special, Twenty10’s David Moutou said.

The City of Sydney’s float, featuring lord mayor Clover Moore and council staff, will be titled The Only Gay in the Village, based on the Daffyd sketch from Little Britain. The aim is to promote the City of Villages concept for the inner-city area.

An entry from Bali will appear in the parade for the first time, aimed at encouraging tourists to go back to the island following the recent terrorist attacks and drug trials.

Campberra -“ The Queen’s Capital float will feature uniformed members of the Australian Federal Police, both gay and straight, marching with their partners and children.

Meanwhile the Oz Showbiz Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS float is looking for more straight girls to join their Gals With Gay Pals float (go to the Oz Showbiz Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS website).

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