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Travel Notes

The 40th anniversary Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade looks set to be among the most spectacular ever seen, with the number of float applications hitting an all-time high - and encompassing an incredible array of strong and stunning creative concepts.

To be held on Oxford and Flinders Streets on Saturday 3 March 2018, the momentous 40th Mardi Gras Parade will celebrate four decades of love, protest, diversity, acceptance, activism, pride, family, passion, creativity and satire.

With an estimated 300,000 spectators cheering from the sidelines, the Parade is a wonderful opportunity for creative and political expression, providing an opportunity for LGBTQI individuals, groups and organisations to celebrate who they are as well as promoting the broader message of diversity and acceptance.

"For our 40th Anniversary Parade we received a phenomenal number of applications, far exceeding our total capacity," said SGLMG CEO Terese Casu. "To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all our floats and marchers, the Parade has a maximum capacity of approximately 12,000 people - so unfortunately we were not able to accept all applications. While we wish we could open our arms to all applications, we have had to make hard decisions regarding our capacity."

Mardi Gras' Parade Curatorial Committee, made up of diverse representatives from our LGBTQI communities, assessed all entries using a clear set of selection criteria. Priority went to LGBTQI groups with strong creative concepts and the ability to produce and deliver them, and consideration of their previous Parade history. 90% of the Parade's entrants are LGBTQI community groups and supporters of the LGBTQI community, with 10% allocated to our partners whose support makes the Parade possible.

To mark the 40th anniversary, Mardi Gras is creating a number of floats to highlight key defining moments which have happened throughout Mardi Gras' 40-year history - including a remembrance to those family and friends who have died of AIDS/HIV related illnesses, and a float which honours and recreates the amazing array of lesbian marching girls in the Parade through the years.

If you are interested in joining the 2018 HIV/AIDS remembrance float or the lesbian marching girls float, expressions of interest are now open - please email Emily at parade@mardigrasarts.org.au with either: 2018 HIV/AIDS remembrance float or 2018 Mardi Gras Lesbian Float in the subject line.

Along with the huge number of Parade float entries this year, tickets for the Parade viewing experiences in Taylor Square and on Flinders Street are selling much faster this time. The Diamond Club stands in Taylor Square have SOLD OUT, and at current rate of sales Mardi Gras expect their Sideshow viewing area on Flinders Street to be sold out by Christmas. Tickets for Sideshow on Flinders Street are available here.

The 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras runs 16 February - 4 March. For more information, visit: www.mardigras.org.au for details.

Image: The 2017 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade - photo by Jeffrey Feng

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