It is one of the largest such festivals in the world and the largest Pride event in Oceania. The event grew from gay rights parades held annually sincewhen numerous participants had been arrested by New South Wales Police. After the parade was dispersing in Kings Cross, 53 of the participants were arrested.
Mardi Gras is more than a single day of celebration. It's a state of mind. Mardi Gras reflects and defines the cultural traditions of New Orleans.
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On 24 Junea small group of gay and lesbian people operating as the Gay Solidarity Group staged a day of events in Sydney. The intention was to promote gay and lesbian culture and to encourage political activism against the discrimination they routinely experienced. The group organised a traditional march and public meeting in the morning and a street parade at night.
The night had gone from nerve-wracking to exhilarating to traumatic all in the space of a few hours. The police attack made us more determined to run Mardi Gras the next year. Over the months that followed, more protests and arrests took place - and the actions of the authorities came to be seen as heavy handed.
It all began on a chilly winter's night inwhen the police descended on a street festival bravely celebrating gay rights when homosexuality was still illegal. Sydney's newly-formed Gay Solidarity Group developed a day of events culminating in the first Mardi Gras street festival. They intended to raise local issues such as decriminalisation of homosexuality, mark the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York, protest the Australian visit of homophobic Festival of Light campaigner Mary Whitehouse, and promote the forthcoming 4th National Homosexual Conference.
Thursday, February 20 through Tuesday, February 25, Gay Mardi Gras is without a doubt the most outrageous gay and lesbian event in New Orleans, second only to the annual Southern Decadence Weekend Celebration in the number of gay and lesbian revelers. Inthe celebration is Thursday, February 20 through Tuesday, February 25and takes place in the lower French Quarter.
International pop star Cher joined in on festivities as Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade dazzled an estimatedspectators on Saturday. Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras — in pictures. Published: 2 Mar Published: 1 Mar
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Today, Mardi Gras is framed, at least in part, within a global gay and lesbian tourism industry that craves a bigger and better parade each year. Nor would they have likely imagined that the parade and the festival would attract thousands of tourists from across Australia and the world making it one of the most attended annually occurring special events in the country.
As a spoof of traditional Mardi Gras krewes, the Yuga ball featured a glittering presentation of royalty, including a Queen, King, Captain, debutantes and maids. Though no longer active, Yuga gave birth to other gay Carnival krewes, including the Krewe of Petronius and the Krewe of Amon-Ra, both of which are still active. Today it remains an important symbol of pride for the community and its allies. They are typically themed and feature dazzling handmade costumes and presentations of krewe royalty.