It seems the floodgates have been opened, with a sea of fresh and international faces all pouring in at an extraordinary rate. “Hi, I’m from Germany, Italy, Sweden, USA etc,” and the list goes on.

My brain is churning as it tries to process the list of new names that I’m expected to remember, even though they are here for only a week or two. I have no issues with “darling” or “sexy”, but will do my best to remember each and every one of you.

I am still riding high after Harbour Party at the weekend. With an amazing backdrop of the QE2 (or something), partygoers were treated to an entire event, unlike other years where they were sent heading for the hills after just a few hours.

So Sydney is now gearing up for the big one – 30 years of walking down the street. It sounds so crazy, I remember vividly, trekking up with a girlfriend for the very first time. And no, I have never been straight, I’m sure you have all heard my voice.

We stood at the side of the road for hours, and when the parade started it all became clearer. A stranger danced over and kissed me right in front of everyone and it was like I had stuck my finger in a power socket – the energy was amazing. Whether it’s the roar of Dykes on Bikes or the swish of a poor showgirl whose feet feel like they have been walking on broken glass, it all adds to the incredible atmosphere.

But have we grown too old for Mardi Gras? Does it cost too much? Has it just turned into a huge freak show?

Frankly, I don’t really care – you can’t please everyone, can you? For every complaint that gets bandied about, there are hundreds who are jumping out of their skin with excitement. The feeling of anticipation just before the parade starts is second to none: seeing the many familiar and not so familiar faces in the crowd smiling, waving and clapping sets your heart a-flutter.

And with all things that go up, they all must come down. Have as much fun as you can, but still be aware of your surroundings and your safety.

And if you do get in trouble, then call the police on 000. There are changes happening, and we have been promised extra police presence over the Mardi Gras period. Also, you are able to speak to a GLLO, whenever you like.

Happy Mardi Gras … (and no, I can’t get anyone party tickets).

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