Sunday, March 8, 2009

Time for Mardi Graaaaaaaas!!!

Sydney's Mardi Gras is legendary. Every year, the entire month of February is the Mardi Gras month, celebrating all things gay, lesbian, transgender... and as one newspaper article put it, all things "queer".

It all culminates to a big-ass street party down Oxford Street in the middle of town. Streets are closed, floats are built, people are dressed up, and it's just great fun people-watching, not just at the people taking part in the parade, but also the people in the streets. People really go to town with their outfits... wearing wigs, painting their faces, and some even came in themed outfits (Doris & the Tin Man, Mickey & Minnie Mouse).

Of course, the best outfits really went to the people in the parade, and these are some of the highlights...

(I can't believe he wasn't cold!)

(Pix on the right are of the hardcore biker men in leather)

There was even a disabled people's float. Seriously!

And people who lived in apartment blocks above Oxford Street had the best views of the activities down below, some even decking out their balconies and holding parties on them.

(There were some special Ozzie flags hanging too - where the entire flag's pink where the blue is supposed to go).

These girls staying at the YWCA were bored while waiting for the parade to start, they started performing YMCA for the crowd below.

It was a manic crowd that got more and more packed.

And some people had ingenious ideas. Like this lady who brought her own stool, not to SIT on, but to STAND on. So she could tower above the crowds.

(Of course she had to be a kiasu Chinese lady.) (I think I'll do the same for next year's parade)

And this guy who brought his own cardboard periscope, so he could see above the crowds.

I couldn't see anything happening at street level... the moment the bikers came tearing down the street to open the parade, everyone's hands were waving their cameras in the air, and it was just pointless (see crowd shots above too).

Kelly & I were there with his childhood friend, Johnny, who's about my height or shorter. I think we both felt like this the entire night:

It was only when the floats appeared that I could kinda see something happening.

I ended up watching the parade through other people's viewfinders. Haha. We got kinda fed-up, plus our calves were getting sore, so we walked around, soaking up the rest of the good vibes.

And then we found another spot where we could see the floats moving off from...

(Yes, those are naked bums on the float)

And here are videos that'll help bring the Mardi Gras to life for you.

Check out the full album at this link:

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