SYDNEY will once again ring in the start of Mardi Gras season in style with Fair Day on Sunday.
To be held at Camperdown’s Victoria Park again, the event officially kicks off the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival and it is one of the biggest and much-loved community events on the city’s LGBTI calendar.
Thousands are expected to attend, and organisers have dubbed that day as a fun, friendly picnic in the sun for family, friends and of course pampered pooches.
There’s something for everyone, from food tents and bars, market stalls and displays, festival previews, amusement rides and even a kids playground area.
Community groups will also have stalls, showcasing what they do and the diverse aspects of the community they represent – from the original Mardi Gras protesters the 78ers to Dykes on Bikes, and from trans* community members to those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Some community stalls will also be seeking new members or raising funds for their Mardi Gras Parade floats.
And on the main stage, there’s live music, performers and dancers, outrageous acts and laughs right throughout this fabulous day.
The following list is the Star Observer’s highlights of Fair Day to help you get started – as it only scratches the surface of what there is on offer:
If you’re among those that love your canine buddies, be sure to visit Doggywood to see the greatest show on paws. Enter your pooch in the pageant for the chance to win fabulous prizes or simply watch and listen to the witty commentary. Matching dog and owner costumes are most definitely encouraged. No cats allowed.
The Team Sydney Sports Village will once again bring sporting clubs from over 20 different sports, where you can speak to the team members who enjoy playing sports as varied as tennis, rugby, swimming, soccer, baseball and more. At 2pm cheer for your favourite team in the highlight of the day, the legendary Team Sydney Tug-o-War.
Fair Day is making history in hosting the first ever Australian NOH8 photo shoot. NOH8 is a silent photographic protest started in response to the passing of California’s infamous Proposition 8 and was co-established by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska, who will be present at the Fair Day shoot. Photos feature people with duct tape over their mouths, symbolising their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest. From noon to 5pm, you can join the campaign, just come wearing white and be camera-ready. It is $45 per person for solo shoots or $30 per person for couples or group pictures.
The space dedicated to young people at Fair Day is set to be another huge success. There will be workshops, music and live performances all day.
Fitness First Zone
Start your day the right way by joining Fitness First for a free yoga class from 10am, and they will also be appearing on the main stage throughout the day to get you moving.
After the Fair
When the sun goes down, it’s time to turn it up again in Newtown’s King St precinct, as the Newtown Hotel and the Bank Hotel open their doors and invite you to party the night away with an array of DJs and entertainment. It’s the perfect way to finish your Fair Day, and start the Mardi Gras season in true Sydney style – with a Sunday “sesh”.
Fair Day Main Stage Schedule
Morning: Sport and Fitness from 10am
– Fitness First
– Team Sydney
– Little Black Dress
– Samuel Stanford
– Sherri Gray
Afternoon: Hear from our community from noon
– Welcome to Country
– Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore
– Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir
– Police Band
– Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust
– Sandy Bottoms and My Little Priscilla at the Penthouse
– Mr and Miss Fair Day
Into the Night from 5.30pm
– Brendan McLean
– Bertie Page Clinic
– Dyan Tai
– A special sneak peak at the Mardi Gras Party
Team Sydney Area
What’s going on in the Team Sydney Area:
– Martial arts demos at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm
– Soccer demo at 1pm
– Impromptu wresting throughout the day
– Tug-o-War championshop at 2pm and 3pm
– 10am: Official open and registration starts
– 11am: Round one, dog/owner look-alike competition
– 11.50am: Round two, talent show
– 1pm: Round three, best-dressed dog
– 2pm: Round four: obstacle course
– 3pm: Round five, best in show