Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2008. The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Season is the biggest spectacle in Australia. More than a parade and a party, it boasts more than 100 events over three weeks in celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer culture. The highly regarded festival includes a wide range of events in theatre, performance, music, comedy, dance, sport and visual arts.
Multiple Grammy, Emmy and American Music Award winner Cyndi Lauper, 2001 Grammy winning DJ Hex Hector, Andreas Scholl Diary Of A Superstarr and internationally acclaimed stand up comic Margaret Cho are just some of the talent heading to Sydney to be part of the 30th anniversary celebrations.
The festival kicks off on Saturday 9 February with a commemorative tree planting ceremony in Centennial Park and culminates in the world-famous parade along Oxford St on Saturday 1 March.
The ever-popular Fair Day returns on Sunday 17 February and attracts more than 60,000 people each year. For many, the ‘big gay picnic day in the park’ is the highlight of the season with its relaxed atmosphere, live entertainment and food and shopping stalls offering something for everyone. Sydney’s campest pooch paradise ‘Doggywood’ also returns to Fair Day, along with ‘Kidszone’ and the funky ‘Lounge Tent’ .
On the first Saturday in March each year over 6,000 participants and half a million spectators hit Oxford Street to watch the colourful spectacle. After the parade, more than 20,000 revellers head to the official Mardi Gras Party to immerse themselves in sweaty bodies, pounding beats and celebratory excitement.
Mardi Gras' highlights include a little pre-parade entertainment (known as 'foreplay') including cheerleaders, drag races, 'Sex on Wheels' rollerblading, a Fair Day, a Sleaze Ball, theatrical productions, Mardi Gras Film Festival and crowd favourites, Dykes on Bikes and male bodybuilders.
The event injects more than $46 million to the New South Wales economy.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Web Site