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Sydney Mardi Gras parade will be very different in 2021

Sydney Mardi Gras parade will be very different in 2021

  • The event is going ahead but in a new location and with a new format as it adapts to COVID.
Sydney Mardi Gras.

The 43rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade will take a very different format in 2021.

The event will still go ahead on Saturday 6 March, despite the coronavirus pandemic. However, organizers have moved it from the usual route of Oxford Street to Sydney Cricket Ground.

Mardi Gras floats and 5,000 marchers will circle the stadium while an audience of 23,000 watches from the stands.

It’s a major departure for one of the world’s most famous and colorful Prides. And it’s a first – this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras took place shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic spread worldwide, forcing other Prides to cancel.

Organizers say the changes will ‘ensure the safety of parade participants, spectators and the community’. But they admit it will be very different to past events.

Fewer floats, more community focus

However, Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said:

‘We feel very lucky to be able to give this opportunity to our communities during these times.

‘Mardi Gras has always been the epitome of creative expression through art and culture; two things severely impacted by COVID-19 this year.

‘So it was important to Mardi Gras that we rise to the occasion and to give the community the creative platform to express their pride to the world.’

The change of venue will also be joined with other changes to the parade. Sydney Mardi Gras has long been famous for its large, glamorous, floats. 

However Krurger says in 2021, there will be fewer big floats, Q News reports. Instead the emphasis will be on the community marchers and the ‘pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props’.

He added that the Sydney Cricket Ground venue would help organizers meet the needs of social distancing and contact tracing.

Meanwhile the theme – ‘Rise’ – will also reflect on the tough 2020 that everyone has endured. 

Meanwhile Mardi Gras organizers are developing plans for other events to make them COVID-safe. However, they hope the popular Fair Day will go ahead next year.