We got some of our favourite photos from the parade at the starting area around Hyde Park, where groups showed us their amazing costumes and makeup! So many gorgeous people, on a bright and sunny Sydney pre-parade afternoon.
Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2013 | 35 years on, it’s time to remember where we have been, look where we are going and take pride in how far we have come.
Mardi Gras marchers donned wigs, harnesses and hotpants – as well as wedding gear – as they campaigned for gay equality in Sydney’s annual parade.
The weather was wet and the clothing miniscule but that did not stop the party along Oxford Street.
Floats of brides and brides and grooms and grooms, dressed both traditionally and extravagantly, strutted their stuff in a statement about equality.
The theme of this year’s event was ‘say something’, with 15 of the 130 floats addressing the issue of same-sex marriage.
Organisers set up speech bubbles along the parade route and called on spectators to speak out against inequity.
The parade was led by eight people who organisers say have made a difference in the lives of gay people.
They included openly gay actress Lily Tomlin, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and two Melbourne teens who protested against the ban on gay couples at a school formal.
New South Wales Labor Minister Verity Firth said thousands of spectators were expected to line the parade route.
“Mardi Gras has been an unmistakable part of Sydney life,” she said.
“We must never forget that the first Mardi Gras in 1978 was about the struggle for equality and this aspect remains absolutely a part of the parade today.”
New Mardi Gras chief executive Michael Rolik says the event does not only benefit the gay community.
“In terms of economic impact it is the second-largest event in the state,” he said.
“At last tally it generates an annual income in terms of economic benefit … of about $30 million for the state of New South Wales.”
Around 1,000 police officers and dozens of paramedics patrolled the parade route and and so far there have been no reports of arrests or major incidents.
The Mardi Gras is the longest running event of its kind in Australia.
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Finally! I got all the photos online by the end of today, it was been a fabulous night with the flows and lights and color and whatever gay fucking awesome spectaculars mardi gras!
This year’s event attracted a large number of spectators with revellers converging into Oxford Street, Sydney, for this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
Spectators lined the footpaths along the parade route, celebrating the colour and spectacle of the parade with lots of families coming into the event as well as visitors from interstate and overseas.
Police officers patrolled the event precinct, on public transport and on the roads, ensuring that the event was safe and secure for both participants and spectators.
“Police, event organisers and key stakeholders, have spent months planning for this year’s parade and I believe that environmental changes to the parade this year contributed to the reduction in incidents,” said Assistant Commissioner Smith.
“Last year we saw far too many young people using Mardi Gras as an excuse to come into the city, get drunk and commit acts of violence or stupidity.
“It was evident again this year that a small minority of young people continued this behaviour, nonetheless, considering the increase in crowd numbers I am pleased that the majority of people came along and enjoyed the parade in the spirit of Mardi Gras,” he said.
Police, throughout the evening, responded to 140 incidents with 35 people arrested. Those arrested were charged with a variety of offences including Stealing, Assault Police, Offensive Behaviour and Possess Drugs.
The Hyde Park precinct which recorded 72 incidents in 2009, recorded fewer incidents this year, due to modifications to the start area that proved successful in moving public order and crowd issues.
Significant incidents that occurred during the evening include the serious assault of a 44-year-old man from Letheridge Park, two separate incidents of young males suffering stab wounds, and a brawl which resulted in a police officer suffering minor injuries after hitting his head on the ground.
“Alcohol and drugs, anti-social behaviour and violence, were evident in tonight’s police operation, and will once again be the focus of planning for next year’s event,” said Assistant Commissioner Smith.
“Whilst it is always disappointing that an evening of celebration ends with arrests and incidents that involve injuries, this year’s operation has recorded fewer arrests and fewer incidents from 2009,” he said.
The NSW Ambulance Service responded to significantly lower incidents of intoxication and drug affected people compared to last year.
The police operation comprised more than 1,000 police including general duties officers and specialist units including the highway patrol, Mounted Police, Public Order and Riot Squad and Polair.
Assistant Commissioner Smith said that all stakeholders contributed to the success of this event include City of Sydney Council, RTA, SRA, Ambulance Service, NSW Fire Brigades, New Mardi Gras and many more.
The NSW Police Force had a contingent of officers who marched in the parade and received a very positive response from the crowd.
There are more photos (Yes! About 1000+ more photos in my Flickr, please click here or the button below to have a look.)
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