The location of Victoria Park, in Camperdown, between the trendy areas of Chippendale, Glebe and Newtown and only a short distance to the Central Business District (CBD) was an ideal place for such an event.
Peter Urmson, Chair of the Board of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, speaking on the ANZ main stage, recognised the traditional owners of the land, the Gadigal (or Cadigal) people of the Eora nation and their elders, both past and present.
The elders of the LGBTQI (an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex) community and its supporters were also recognised. “As if it was not for them, we would not be here today and be able to put on such a special and spectacular event.”
Mr Urmson spoke about the history and scale of Mardi Gras informing the crowds that it was “the 34th year that we celebrate”, that there were “over sixty events across Sydney” and ”over 250 stalls”.
Stalls included DNA magazine, ‘One in Ten’, News Local, Beyond Blue and Official Merchandise.
There were also various food stalls and the Finlandia Lounge and Gaydar Lounge.
Peter Urmson told the crowd “In our parade this year, along with our major strategic partner, Destination NSW, we are thrilled to celebrate K25 – 25 years of Kylie Minogue.”
Peter Urmson revealed, “Kylie Minogue will be watching the parade from a strategic viewpoint in a premium area”.
Bruce Notley-Smith, Liberal Party Member for Coogee (a beachside suburb in Sydney’s east, just south of Bondi) said, “So with Kylie we can expect a much greater community engagement and hopefully the biggest and best Mardi Gras we’ve ever had.
“Of course one of the reasons that the Sydney Mardi Gras is so special is that it’s a truly international event and a global superstar like Kylie, can only enhance the profile and help to share the Mardi Gras spirit, with an even greater number of people, right around the world.”
He went on to say, “Destination New South Wales has found that Mardi Gras attracts more than twenty thousand overseas visitors and specifically for this event, this injects nearly 30 million dollars into the New South Wales economy every year.”
Mr and Mrs Fair Day contests
The hostess on the ANZ main stage, Charisma Belle awarded the Mr Fair Day title to John Waters.
Several drag queens entered the Mrs Fair Day contest: ‘Mother’, ‘Holly Wood’, ‘Lauren’ (disqualified for not appearing on stage in time), ’Menage a Trois’, ‘Christina Ball’ (Tumbleweed)’, ‘Larra DeLatte’, ‘Ivy League’, ‘Sooky Bitch’, ‘Rumour Has It’, ‘Storm Waters’, ‘Jen Y’, ‘Paris Hillickons’ and Naomi.
Charisma Belle asked the contestants, “Is Mardi Gras still relevant today?”
Most said “Yes”, but one contestant (Menage a Trois) said “No”.
Contestant number one, ‘Mother’ answered, “(It) gives everyone the opportunity to express their individualism”.
Miss ‘Rumour Has It’ was the winner.
Sources and further information
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras website
City of Sydney website
Gadigal Information Service website
Bruce Notley-Smith website
Destination NSW website