Sydney set to sparkle for gay pride parade
Sydney: Up to 300,000 spectators were Saturday expected to brave the rain to watch Sydney's annual Mardi Gras gay pride parade, with an emphasis on the political as the nation prepares for elections.
The event, which bills itself as the world's biggest night parade, is celebrating the theme "Generations of Love", focused on its origins in 1978 as a gay rights protest march that ended with violence and arrests. "Generations of Love is really about embracing love across the ages, how far we've come, celebrating what we have achieved and imagining and forging a brighter future," said the event's CEO Michael Rolik.
Some of the original activists, known as the "78ers", will take pride of place at the beginning of the parade, behind the traditional "Dykes on Bikes" motorcade which officially kicks off the colourful, often irreverent march. Some 10,000 revellers on 115 individual floats will make the journey down Oxford Street, hub of Sydney's gay and lesbian nightlife, in a vibrant show featuring drag queens, political parodies and plenty of sparkle.
There will be an Aboriginal float, surf lifesavers will dance in their trademark briefs and yellow and red caps, and supporters of WikiLeaks will march in solidarity with whistleblower Bradley Manning, a gay US soldier.