2017’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be bursting at the seams with pride and passion, featuring 187 diverse entries each with their own unique take on the festival’s theme CREATING EQUALITY.
The 39th annual Parade is at once a giant celebration, a wild and witty protest call to action, and a life-affirming adventure.
This year Mardi Gras has registered a grand total of 12,137 parade participants. The procession will be proudly led by First Nations people, who will work together with the original 1978 Mardi Gras marchers to begin the Parade.
One of the main Mardi Gras floats is titled EQUALITY and features 8 x 2.4 metre high 3-D equality letters on wheels that will span over 20 metres. A cross between a moving sculptural installation, Parade float and giant photographic exhibition, each letter features a different participant from the My People I My Tribe community photography project titled #barenakedtruth. Accompanying the giant letters as they travel up Oxford Street will be 60 participants from LGBTQI communities that have participated in the My People My Tribe project.
Mardi Gras has a long and loud history as a protest action, and in 2017 there’ll be plenty of passion on show. Among the broad range of LGBTIQ community concerns will be Australian Marriage Equality, Farmers Coming Out for the Environment, Keep Sydney Open, Socialist Alliance and the Uniting Church LGBTIQ Network who are marching to draw attention to the plight of LGBTIQ refugees. Mardi Gras is proud to provide a platform for a diverse range of voices and views.
10 of the parade’s 187 float entries are Mardi Gras’ corporate partners, who are proudly demonstrating leadership in supporting the LGBTQI community within their own staff and the broader community.
In 2017 Mardi Gras has partnered with Google to increase their capacity to provide individuals and community groups with grants up to $5,000 each to support their parade entry. The grants program aims to provide grants to individuals, community groups and not-for-profit groups to help lift parade entries to a completely new artistic level. Grant recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras officially begins with the annual Rainbow Flag raising ceremony at Sydney Town Hall which unleashes the festival. Highlights of the Festival include the annual community Fair Day to be held on Sunday 19 February in new location Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.
There are over 90 events happening around Sydney through the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras season from 17 February to 5 March.