This Saturday, the 37th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will make its way down Oxford Street, celebrating the passion and diversity of Australia’s LGBTQI community. With more than 100 parade entries the experience can be pretty daunting, but our friends over at SameSame have shared this list to give us a taste of what to expect on parade day.
#1 Navy, Army and Air Force
The most senior enlisted members of the Navy, Army and Air Force have volunteered to provide leadership for the contingent of sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen proudly marching in uniform at the parade. The Warrant Officer of the Navy, Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army, and Warrant Officer of the Air Force will be there to represent the Defence leadership’s commitment to ongoing cultural change and inclusivity.
#2 Dr Mark’s Marching Academy
Mardi Gras regulars, the multi award-winning Dr Mark’s Marching Academy, will be back this year with another show-stopping routine. Last year, their memorable parade entry, ‘Putin’ on the Ritz’ lampooned Russian president Vladimir Putin and his anti-gay propaganda laws. This year they’ve opted for something a little more light-hearted: passionfruits. Don’t miss this talented group and yearly favourite.
#3 Qantas Gay380
Qantas’ float this year, the Qantas Gay380, promises to be quite the spectacle, with key messages of diversity stemming from the many subcultures throughout its workforce. The float was designed by Qantas staff. Shaped like a plane with a rainbow tail and pulled by a multi-coloured tug, Australia’s national airline aims to re-enter the parade in style.
#4 The Glamazon All-Stars
The Glamazon All-Stars are going Grecian for this year’s Mardi Gras Parade: a chariot pulled by muscly equine men, topped by the Mother of Justice in glimmering silver and white robes, carrying her scales. Fighters for love, unity, valor and equality, the Glamazon All-Stars are this year’s Justice Family.
#5 The University of Western Sydney
The University of Western Sydney will join the Mardi Gras fun and festivities for the first time with their UWS/Ally Network. Their message is that UWS is a place that is fundamentally for all, by all and with all.
From Greece to South Asia, Trikone is parading to proclaim that Bollywood is the new black. One of the oldest groups of its kind in the world, Trikone supports South Asian LGBTQI people. You couldn’t miss this ultra-colourful group if you tried – they’ll be decked out in beautiful rainbow coloured Indian clothes and jewellery, showing off their Bollywood dancing talents.
#7 Sydney Stingers
Gay and lesbian waterpolo club Sydney Stingers will be putting on an Amazonian pool party for Mardi Gras, with colourful birds, snakes and flowers will bedeck their float, and the centrepiece – an actual pool.
#8 Beyonce G Spot Memorial
A parade float to remember in this year’s Mardi Gras without a doubt will be the Beyonce G Spot Memorial float. Dedicated to one of Sydney’s premier drag performers who passed away tragically in 2013 – Beyonce G Spot (aka Sascha Fierce, or to his close friends Zaine) – the float will pay tribute to this talented performer and the legacy he has left. It will recreate one of Zaine’s most memorable performances, ‘The Little Merdrag’, with an elaborate set of giant clams on a rocky outcrop, draped with Ariel and her six sisters. The poignant message is one of acceptance and being a “Part of Your World.”
#9 Australian/Irish float
Ireland and Australia will match their passions in the Irish/Aussie Mardi Gras float. The queen of Ireland Panti Bliss will be matched with Sydney’s own Surf Life Saver DJ Dan Murphy on a green (Ireland) and gold (AU) glitter covered float. Panti will meet Dan in the middle of a rainbow on the float, where they will wave to the crowd. Behind the float will be 60 choreographed dancers with wings, followed by gay Irish dancers, and some lesbian leprechauns. The Parade will also have representation from Melbourne, South Australia and the Northern Territory, as well as several floats from regional NSW. Watch out for the tongue-in-cheek Way Out West float, with line-dancers decked out in flannies and Blundstones.
(Images courtesy of Mardi Gras)
Qantas Community are proud to be involved in the 2015 Mardi Gras festival with an ongoing commitment to strengthening the communities in which they operate. Find out more here. Check out flights to Sydney with Qantas here.