The weather held off and approximately 300,000 people lined Oxford and Flinders streets on Saturday night for the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Spectators watched 108 entry floats and groups, and 9,067 total participants in the 35th anniversary event, led by parade chiefs Ron Austin and Julie McCrossin on behalf of the original ‘78ers.
Floats included the official entry of the Australian Defence Force, with participants marching in uniform for the first time, and politicians such as Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich and Greens leader Christine Milne marching with her gay son, Tom.
“[The] parade was as cheeky, colourful, irreverent and fun as Sydney expects it to be,” Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras CEO Michael Rolik said.
Sydney Mardi Gras co-chair Peter Urmson said the parade was a huge success.
“Sydney Mardi Gras is well known as a good time, but it’s so much more than a street parade,” Urmson said.
“It’s what we do to continue the struggle against discrimination and inequality as it impacts on LGBTQI people. It’s how we raise up and join together to be heard.”