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article imageMardi Gras season official launch with raising of rainbow flag Special

By Richard Milnes     Feb 8, 2013 in Entertainment
Sydney - Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore officially launched the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras season, with the raising of the rainbow flag at Sydney Town Hall.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore began by recognising the traditional owners of the land, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and paying her respects to their elders both past and present.
She mentioned some of the “old-timers” who had been present the first time the rainbow flag was raised over Sydney Town Hall and how emotional it had been for them.
She welcomed everyone including the key people involved in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
“We are here to launch the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Sydney Mardi Gras.” The crowd cheered “Yeah!” and “Whoa!”
“And we reminisce about the turbulent beginnings in 1978 and the people who received a violent reception from the police on that particular occasion, would not have imagined we’d be here in such a happy festive mode, right in the heart of the city so publicly, with people and buses going by on George Street, saying how important it is that we have a Mardi Gras happening here in Sydney.
“And this Mardi Gras is called ‘Generations of Love’ and how fantastic is that?
“It’s honouring all those who’ve worked and stood up for respect, for equality and for acceptance.” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
She informed those present about the scale of the event. “We’re expecting 10,000 people to participate in the Mardi Gras parade this year.” And “It’s in fact the second largest event in Sydney after New Year’s Eve and we’re expecting 20,000 national and international visitors and we’re expecting that it’s going to bring even more than $30 million to the NSW economy.”
She finished by saying, “Happy Mardi Gras everyone!”
Siri Kommedahl, Co-Chair of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras spoke next saying, “We have 24 nights and days of amazing entertaining events in this year’s festival.”
She mentioned the Sydney Mardi Gras debut of the museum. “In the first week alone over a thousand people walked through the doors of the museum.”
She thanked all the sponsors who had made the Mardi Gras possible.
Peter Urmson, the other Co-Chair of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras paid a particular tribute to the “78-ers”, a reference to those that took part in the first ever Mardi Gras.
He mentioned the quilt design on the Mardi Gras booklet created by Lewis Oswald, the in house creative guy who he pointed out in the crowd. It includes the posters from each year’s Mardi Gras parade.
“We’ve navigated through 35 years from humble beginnings and here we are today about to launch an amazing festival and campaign.” He said.
My Urmson highlighted the fact that not only was it the 35th year, but it would be the first year in which LGBTQI people who work in the Australian Defence Force would be able to march in their uniform.
The rainbow flag is raised at Sydney Town Hall  marking the official launch of the 2013 Sydney Mardi...
The rainbow flag is raised at Sydney Town Hall, marking the official launch of the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras season.
More images of the event can be seen here.
More about Mardi Gras, Gay, Lesbian, Rainbow flag, Sydney
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