The countdown is on to Sydney’s spectacular parade, celebrating gay pride, politics and sexiness with a big serve of humour. Gay or straight, it will stop the city for a night on Saturday March 3 and everyone’s invited.
When the sun sets on parade night, Sydney’s streets will close down as the energy and anticipation of another year’s carnival builds. Hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators will line the streets, while thousands more in elaborate costumes and floats will parade down Sydney’s Oxford Street in an explosion of colour and sparkle.
Parade viewing hot spots
Grab a spot on the sidelines or watch the parade from the balcony of an Oxford Street bar. Cheer as ‘Dykes on Bikes’ rev their engines at the front of the parade and start the show. This year, the official Mardi Gras Parade viewing area will resemble a kitsch holiday caravan park known as Club Tropicana. A raised viewing platform on the Taylor Square forecourt will take advantage of parade route’s top vantage point, where you can relax away from the crowds with easy access to bars, food stands and toilet facilities (for the price of a ticket). Another VIP viewing option is the ‘Glamstand’, which has lots of amenities, glam bars and a resident DJ, which makes for a more comfortable experience than hopping on top of a milk crate on Oxford Street. It is also a ticketed area located in leafy Centennial Parklands, on the corner of Moore Park Road and Anzac Parade.
Of course the big news is the much anticipated appearance of Kylie Minogue. The pop princess will be scooting down to the parade and playing at the after party which adds to a stellar party line-up, with singer-songwriter Sam Sparro, RuPaul, Sneaky Sound System and Chicane.
Kylie is keen to celebrate her 25 years in the business – known as K25 – in her third appearance at Mardi Gras. She says, “Being part of Mardi Gras this year is so important to me because I know that so many of my fans make up the amazing community it represents.”
“Performing at the party is my way of saying thanks for 25 fabulous years together. It’s been a really beautiful relationship that has always been filled with overwhelming support and a lot of love.”
What not to miss
Other cool and camp things to do include a retro cabaret tea dance with Bob Downe, a sunset cruise on the Harbour and pop in performances in ‘The Laneway’ or drag races with the lifesaver queens on Bondi Beach.
Check out www.mardigras.org.au for tickets, maps and more info.