Get ready to celebrate! The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018 is almost here, and let’s be real, this one is a pretty big deal. We’re marking our spectacular 40th anniversary, Australia’s recently achieved marriage equality, and the arrival of one very special guest star in Sydney…@Cher!
The crew at Twitter Australia has also created a special edition Twitter emoji using our pink Mardi Gras ‘infinite hearts’ logo, and it’s launching on Fair Day. To activate the emoji, simply Tweet with the hashtags #SydneyMardiGras or #MardiGras40 and voilà.
Mardi Gras is two weeks and three weekends jam packed with celebrations and events to suit every walk of LGBTQI life – including a huge picnic day with entertainment for families and friends, ‘Queer Thinking’ talks on compelling topics, a ‘Koori Gras’ showcase of Australian Indigenous culture, plus theatre, movies, community gatherings, and parties galore.
Every corner of the city gets into the spirit — the iconic Sydney Opera House even helped us launch in style, lighting its sails in vivid pink and rainbow colours.
This year is especially important because of the history of the festival, which is now in its fabulous forties. Mardi Gras first began on 24 June 1978 with a peaceful protest to promote gay rights and mark the anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall riots – but it turned violent when the police stopped the parade, attacking and arresting dozens of participants.
During the festival this year, we’re honouring our past and looking back across four decades of Mardi Gras memories. Our ‘Museum of Love and Protest’ is open during the festival, including stunning costumes, photos, videos, storytelling and music. We also have a Mardi Gras 40 Year Timeline full of interactive content to flip through online.
This year’s festival is history in action for another reason; it’s the first Mardi Gras since Australia said YES to equality, and we’re celebrating in style. Sydney Mardi Gras’ biggest and most extravagant events happen on the first Saturday night of March – we’re talking about the spectacular parade and gigantic party.
This year there’s almost 200 different parade entries, representing a huge array of LGBTQIA people, relationships, families, unique culture and incredible creativity. The rehearsals are in full swing, and we know there’s some incredible Mardi Gras magic in the making.
There are plenty of ways to join the Mardi Gras celebrations on Twitter.
Can’t make it to the Parade? Twitter users across the globe can tune in to a live video stream of the event on the SBS Australia Twitter account @SBS from 7:00 pm AEST on Saturday, 3 March. Now our expat friends and international supporters can still share the love!
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival runs from 16 February – 4 March. You can also find all the festival events details on http://www.mardigras.org.au/. We’ll also be Tweeting updates, photos, news, and videos during the festival, so stay tuned to the #MardiGras40 and #SydneyMardiGras hashtags to see it all unfold in real time!
Most importantly, Mardi Gras is a chance to celebrate diversity, LGBTQIA life, and to connect as a community.
Our team at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras wishes you a very happy, safe, and fun Mardi Gras season. No matter where you are in the world, we’re looking forward to sharing our adventures with you on Twitter!
Our guest blogger, Matt Akersten, is the Social Media Manager of @SydneyMardiGras.