On Saturday 3 March, we're expecting the Mardi Gras Parade route on Oxford and Flinders Streets to fill to capacity with an estimated 300,000 spectators, watching and cheering on 200 groups involving approximately 12,000 participants.
Involving as many diverse LGBTQI groups as possible in the world-famous Parade is our goal, with applications hitting an all-time high for the amazing 40th anniversary of the event. Various groups will honour our past, draw attention to our people, relationships, stories and rights, put the spotlight on the issues affecting us, and showcase the incredible creativity of our LGBTQI communities.
We want our Parade to stay at our traditional home of Oxford Street, but we've reached capacity for our route. Our Parade viewing experiences have now sold out, and to ensure the safety and security of all our participants and spectators, we must adhere to strict limits on numbers of both people and vehicles involved in the event.
In total there will be a record 200 groups represented in the 2018 Mardi Gras Parade, sharing a stunning array of creative concepts from all walks of LGBTQI life. Hundreds of wonderful organisations applied to be part of the event, many of them with strong and creative messages of long-standing support for our LGBTQI communities. Fitting all of them in is unfortunately not possible, and several groups were unfortunately not selected to join the Parade this time. We look forward to seeing many of those groups featured in other ways during the festival’s 100+ events during February and March.
We have received a lot of community feedback in support of the NSW Teachers Federation, which has today been advised that due to another float notifying us they are unable to march, Mardi Gras has been able to offer them the opportunity to resubmit an application to participate.
The Mardi Gras team know how important the NSW Teachers Federation is to the history of Mardi Gras and our LGBTQI communities. We’ll look forward to seeing them in our 2018 Parade, highlighting their enduring connection and engagement with LGBTIQ people and the issues which affect them. You can read NSW Teachers Federation's statement today about their Mardi Gras Parade float here.