An excited crowd packed the Dome Bar in Surry Hills on Friday night to hear the winners of this year’s Mardi Gras Awards.

“We deliver so many events through the season but this is the one we really look forward to, because it’s to say thank you and to also acknowledge and honour some of the fantastic parade entries that make Mardi Gras so fabulous,” New Mardi Gras (NMG) CEO Michael Rolik told the room,

This year’s parade awards were judged by NIDA head of acting Tony Knight, media personality Julie McCrossin, and Ready Steady Cook host Peter Everett.

Parade associate producer Victor Petrov said it had been one of the hardest years for judges to pick the winners because the standard of entries had been so high.

“This year’s entries took up the challenge to raise the artistic level of the parade,” Petrov said.

The Best Float went to the Black Dog Institute for its giant dog sculpture.

The Best Choreography award went to the Lifesavers with Pride, choreographed by Star Observer staff member Laurence Stark.

Knight said the hardest category to decide this year had been Best Costume Design but that it had gone to the Gayola Crayons entry for having the greatest “unity of vision”.

The Say Something award went to the ACON Aboriginal Project entry who led this year’s parade in recognition of the difficulty experienced by many indigenous Australians in coming out.

The Judges’ Choice award went to the People With Disabilities Australia entry — two men in wheelchairs who were determined to get through the entire parade without the assistance of helpers.

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