Sydney’s biggest parade!

Sydney’s biggest parade!
Image: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2020. Image: commons

The centrepiece event for the Mardi Gras Festival and arguably one of the most important events on the LGBTQ+ calendar, this year’s parade be the 46th time members of the queer community and their allies will have marched together in solidarity, celebration, outrageous costumes and dangerously high footwear. 

More than 12,000 participants across over 200 floats will run, dance, sashay, strut, stroll the roughly 2km gauntlet from Hyde Park to Moore Park, all the way being cheered on by up to 300,000 well-wishers. 

Traditionally, the beginning of the parade is heralded by the almighty roar of 200 motorbikes as the thundering Dykes on Bikes warm up the parade route. The procession proper is led off by First Nations Community Float, closely followed by those to whom we are indebted, The 78ers. After that comes a colourful cavalcade of humorous, inventive, and dazzling floats. 

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2020. Image: Ann- Marie Calihanna

It’s free to attend and watch the parade from any of the public access spots along the route, however, if you want comfort, great views, amenities, pre-parade entertainment, and expert commentary, you can purchase tickets for one of three designated viewing areas: The Diamond Club, Sideshow, and Club Cindy. 

If you plan to go in, take public transport and make note of the street closures. Transport for NSW Coordinator-General, Howard Collins advises that additional trains, buses and light rail services have been put on for the night and will run frequently and later than usual.

Crowds along the parade route. Image: commons

“Light rail services will be extended until 2am on the L2 Randwick and L3 Kingsford lines, with a two-hour extension on the L1 Dulwich Hill line until 1am,” Mr Collins said on the Transport NSW website.

“Buses will run every 3-5 minutes along King St and Enmore Road to get people to Mardi Gras, and extra late night buses will run between 10pm and 1am to bring revellers back to King St.”

“If you’re catching the bus, plan ahead as services to and from the city will be using different routes and stops while roads are closed, so you may need to walk further than usual for access to the parade viewing areas.”

Trains to the city will run frequently to bring crowds to the parade.

Spectators should use Town Hall, St James or Kings Cross stations for access to the northern side of the parade in Darlinghurst, or Central for access to the southern side in Surry Hills.

If you’re meeting up with friends, try to pick a spot away from the parade area and crowds. Make a detailed plan ahead of time, including time, location and any contingencies. The ether will be congested with texts, selfie uploads, last minute costume consultations, and where are you?s so don’t rely on in situ communications. Be organised. 

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to cross Oxford St and Flinders St  from 7pm, or any part of the route once the parade has started. 

Bring lots of water and maybe some snacks. Wear something comfortable, or else, something so unbelievably glamorous that it’s worth the pain. Be considerate of the other spectators around you. 

You can, of course, avoid all this palaver and watch the whole thing from the comfort of your sofa. 

The parade will be broadcast live on ABC TV from 7:30pm AEDT with celebrity presenters including Courtney Act, Mon Schafter, G Flip, Remy Hii, Mel Buttle and Jeremy Fernandez. 

You can also watch it on the ABC’s free streaming service ABC iview.

Have a very safe and happy Mardi Gras! 

March 2 

Oxford St, Flinders St, Anzac Parade

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