Bears, families and the Dykes on Bikes were among the 2005 New Mardi Gras parade entries to pick up a gong at Friday’s award ceremony.

The Harbour City Bears took out the trophy for Most Creative Entry with their Ursus Maximus entry -“ featuring hundreds of bears in Roman-themed costumes.

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby’s Our Families First entry was awarded the prize for Most Outstanding Entry. Drag performer Joyce Mange won the Funniest Entry award for Incredi-Joyce And The Incredi-Gays.

A Gay At The Races won the coveted Most Over The Top award and ACON’s huge 20th anniversary entry picked up the Judge’s Choice Award.

An honourable mention went to parade legends Ethel Yarwood Enterprises, who paid tribute to Little Britain’s Daffyd with their entry I’m The Only Gay In The Village.

Other recipients were Hooters on Scooters, the NSW Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers, Vic Presence and Oz Showbiz Cares.

More than 150 people turned up at the Imperial Hotel to see Parade Creative Director Mitzi Macintosh hand out the awards. The night also gave 2006 parade planners a chance to hear from entrants about how the parade could be best staged.

New Mardi Gras co-chair Steph Sands said the awards were a way for the organisation to thank the parade entrants.

We also soaked up people’s ideas and thoughts of how to keep the 2006 parade entertaining and a forum to place gay and lesbian issues on the nation’s agenda, Sands said.

New Mardi Gras is currently looking for volunteers to help plan Sleaze 2005, a fundraiser for the 2006 festival season. Email volunteer@newmardigras.org.au or ring 9568 8600 for more information.

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