Mardi Gras Gathers Momentum

Kate Young
22nd Nov 2015

With the program of the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras having just been announced. The month leading up to the parade is set to sizzle, astound and encourage everyone to march to the beat of their own drum.

The theme is "MOMENTUM". From its early start in the 70’s Mardi Gras has always been a celebration - celebration of the individual, of the strength and courage it takes to stand up for you are and what you believe in. Everyone is recognized and everyone has a voice to be heard. Be out and be proud. Do it in style with glitter and with guts. We are all our superheroes and in numbers we become an unstoppable force.

I personally love the parade. I have both had the opportunity to volunteer (thank you to the people that do it year and year out) and had the privilege to march with the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation for the last two years in a row. Yet it is the whole month leading up to the parade that is truly my favorite. Every year I wait for the Mardi Gras Guide to come out and I will sit with a marker and highlight every event, art exhibition, performance and film that tickles my fancy. Next year's program is filled with many of the usual favourites like Fair Day held at Victoria Park - the gateway to Mardi Gras month. Here the community gets together and celebrates their diversity as cultures and sub cultures mix and mingle.

We are lucky enough to have a glimpse into some highlights that have never been part of the festivities before. This year Darling Harbour will even be getting into the spirt as it celebrates the month of love (February 5 to March 5). Get ready to swoon, croon and shout love from the rooftops. There will be free outdoor movies, romantic picnics, date night deals, fireworks, family day, drag shows and rowboats on the harbour.

Another new location added this year is The Harbour. Situated in one of Sydney’s most iconic locations – The Fleet Stairs at Mrs Macquarie’s Point

Mardi Gras will showcase films, talks concerts and sing-a-longs. One particular highlight is the twenty-fifth anniversary screening of In Bed With Madonna (24th of Feb). Also in the schedule is pop icon Tina Arena, who will perform all her hits in an intimate show (25th of Feb) and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir in a super fun sing-along evening with the popular film Mama Mia as the soundtrack (26th of Feb).

Operating out of the Carriageworks performance space, Day For Night is a 24 hr odyssey through queer space and time. Music to lectures, performance to parties. Day for Night will unravel, celebrate, and re-imagine gender and sexuality.

For the history buffs there are the Sydney Gaybarhood Walking Tours (Feb 23rd to Mar 9th ). We all know what beautiful landscape Sydney has to offer, so these tours are with a bit of a twist looking at the history of LGBTQ and how it started here in some of our most love neighborhoods such as Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Kings Cross and Surry Hills! The tour ends with a celebratory beverage at one of Sydney’s most iconic bars on the strip.

No matter what your tastes, there is going to be something for everyone this year. Get planning and remember that Mardi Gras is for everyone, be good to yourself and look out for one another.

Visit the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras website for more info, and keep an eye on the Sydney Scoop calendar for more info about Mardi Gras highlights. Happy Mardi Gras!!!!