Persistent rain failed to discourage participants and the viewing public at this year’s Mardi Gras parade, when 130 floats strutted past an estimated 250,000 people on Saturday night.

The rain also failed to deter partygoers, thanks to the early sell-out of the party on Thursday. New Mardi Gras reported that 17,000 people attended the party.
Co-chair Steph Sands told Sydney Star Observer she was ecstatic about the success of the parade and party on Saturday night.

We certainly turned a profit this season, Sands said.

Obviously we’re still calculating that, but it’s left us in a really good position to go into the future.

Parade entries included the political, the glamorous and the just plain silly. Leading the cavalcade were Peg Moran and her partner Monica Hingston, cousin of Archbishop George Pell.

Memorial entries included the Janet Jackson-like wardrobe malfunction drag queens, complete with frequently exposed right breasts and George W. Bush and John Howard holding hands and requesting to be married.

Onlookers took a more proactive role this year, participating in an attempt to break the world record for the most people dancing to the song YMCA. Sands said she believed the record had been broken but we’re waiting on feedback from Guinness on whether someone holding an umbrella and doing the -˜YMCA’ counts.

The party was mostly well received by a sell-out crowd, including the 11,000 people who had taken advantage of the earlybird ticketing scheme.

The inaugural retro-themed Stage 11 was enormously popular, as were the return of the dancefloor in the Hordern and the appearance of the New Mardi Gras co-chairs in drag.

The show featuring boy band Atlas and attendant nude dancers was met with approval, although there were a few disappointing absences, including heavily rumoured appearances by Courtney Act and visiting international artists. No international act played at the party.

Sands said NMG were talking with Act’s management but negotiations fell through for various reasons.

But I think we delivered some spectacular shows with professional choreographers and professional dancers, Sands said.

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