A sold-out crowd danced the night away as revellers celebrated Sydney’s spectacular Mardi Gras Parade.
More than 50,000 spectators let their hair, partying the night away as more than 160 floats from organisations, businesses and advocacy groups marched to support LGBTQ+ communities at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
A Welcome to Country acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land – the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.
As per tradition, Dykes on Bikes kicked off the official parade festivities. The group has been ‘riding with pride’ since 1988 and are Australia’s longest running female-identified motorcycle club.
Boys on Bikes, Gay Tradies and Asian Marching Boys and Friends were joined by private companies such as Woolworths, Optus, and government agencies like Transport for NSW to march in colour and glitter.
But it was clear the pandemic was still at front of mind, with several health themed floats including GLADD’s ‘Combating Covid’ display.
Darren Hayes, Vanessa Amorosi and The Wiggles were among the Aussie acts to perform for the crowd.
But it wasn’t all celebrations at the SCG. The Australian flags flew at half mast over the stadium’s members stand in memory of cricketing legend Shane Warne, who died earlier that day.
The event also began with a moment of silence for Ukraine and tributes to the victims of the floods across Australia’s east.
Mardi Gras returned to the SCG for the second time, with organisers insisting it gave the parade the best opportunity to go ahead due to Covid restrictions.
However, they hope it will make triumphant return to the home and heart of Mardi Gras, Oxford Street, for its 45th anniversary next year.
The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York.
On Saturday afternoon, protesters marched down the traditional Oxford St parade route, calling for the decriminalisation of sex work and the end of the federal government’s religious discrimination bill.