Sydney Mardi Gras Festival and Parade
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Published by TOP4 Team
Light shows, fireworks, thumping pop music, incredible costumes, colourful floats, thousands upon thousands of people: the sheer spectacle of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade along Oxford and Flinders streets in Darlinghurst, held every year in late February or early March, is one of the highlights of Sydney’s annual calendar of events.
The parade has its origin in a June 24, 1978, march commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York, which centered on gay and lesbian rights. When a parade began at Taylor Square, New South Wales police attempted to stop its progress. The marchers regroup down the hill on William Street but were forced into Darlinghurst Road, where the police were waiting to set upon the marchers. Violence has been prevalent in the police force for years, but on this occassion TV cameras, photographers, and journalists were on hand.
The brutality gave credence to claims of intimidation that had been circulating for years. It also added to the increasing pressure on change, and the parade became both annual event and potent force on the political agenda. The parade has become a mainstream event, televised every year and attended by growing crowds, providing a clear insight into how far Sydney has come.
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