• February 19, 2018

It’s been 40 years since the first Mardi Gras parade wound its way down Oxford Street in Sydney. Four decades of pride marches, celebrations and extravagant displays of sexuality has brought this extravaganza well and truly into the mainstream, and now there’s more glitz and glamour than you can poke a sequined frock at.

In the beginning it was more of a protest than a celebration. The inaugural 1978 rally was derailed by police and met a bitter end as 53 men and women were violently arrested and thrown in jail. The parade grew from strength to strength despite plenty of opposition. In 1985 it was almost abandoned after the head of Australia’s AIDS Task Force was quoted as appealing to ‘the gays to be responsible enough to cancel the Mardi Gras activities’.

Watch the history of Mardi Gras

The procession is now one of Australia’s most famous events; it is televised around the world and attended by hundreds of thousands of onlookers. In fact, this year it is expected to attract over 300,000 attendees and pump millions of tourist dollars into the economy. The celebrated 78ers – the original marchers, will take pride of place alongside the myriad of floats sailing down Oxford Street. Mardi Gras brings Sydney to a halt and draws the nation’s focus to the issues faced by the LGBTQ community.

Not to be left out, Cobden & Hayson have thrown their hot pants into the ring in full support of this colourful occasion.  C&H Surry Hills are major sponsors of Team Sydney were thrilled to be presenting the Winner Shield at this year’s Mardi Gras Fair Day for the Tug of War event.

You also can’t miss their glamorous mural of the effervescent Cher beaming down in all of her shining glory if you get a chance to walk by the Cobden & Hayson Surry Hills office on Crown Street. The performance of the megastar gay icon at the festival will ensure this year will be the most fabulous Mardi Gras ever!

So come and help us paint the town rainbow as we frock up for the Mardi Gras 2018 parade, and express yourself with pride.

Mardi Gras parade 2018

Saturday, 3rd March

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

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