In the Garden of Freedom, Adam and Steve are free to do whatever they want. Until, that is, the snake comes along and tells them otherwise.

One entry to look out for in this Saturday’s Mardi Gras parade is Adam and Steve, Ada and Eve, the official Mardi Gras marching group. They’ll be joined by a gigantic snake with Prime Minister John Howard’s head.

It’s the evil snake in the Garden of Freedom, parade creative director Graeme Browning says.

You can’t have a garden without the snake, and we’ve labelled this one our yellow-bellied trouser snake.

The marching group will lead one of the four sections of this year’s parade, which is divided for the first time into colours and themes: Freedom (white), Family (pink), Passion (red) and Joy (yellow).

Each will be led by a Mardi Gras light and sound truck, which will be competing against some other very bright and noisy entries, Browning says.

For some reason there’s more lighting and sound in this year’s parade than ever before. It’s going to be brighter, louder and more colourful than ever.

And just as political, and just as funny.

Entries this year include tributes to Little Britain’s Daffyd, a tribute to Charles and Camilla, and the Hooters on Scooters, a choreographed group of women on push-scooters.

One newcomer to this year’s parade is the Wayside Chapel, which has a group of volunteers, staff and friends marching this year under the banner Diversity in Humanity.

They will be dressed by Jamie, a transgender Wayside volunteer.

This year’s chiefs of parade are Vicki Harding and Jackie Braw, the two lesbian mums at the centre of last year’s national debate about same-sex families on children’s television.

They will be joined by daughter Brenna.

About 1,300 volunteers have signed up to line the parade route, in addition to the many hundreds working in the lead-up to the great event.

Three large screens on the parade route will show all of the action.

Organisers have advised attendees to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, and head to the end of the parade route if everywhere else looks too full.

This year’s parade is shorter, finishing at the intersection of Moore Park Road and Flinders Street.

The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Glamstand will stand in Flinders Street this year.

BGF CEO Bev Lange says tickets to the stand are selling well and are still available.

Glamstand punters will be entertained by a line-up of artists including Todd McKenney, Cosima De Vito and Shauna Jensen -“ not to mention having access to clean toilets.

Tickets are available at www.Ticketmaster7.com.au or by calling 13 61 00.

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