Friday, 29 February 2008

Sydney's Mardi Gras set to turn 30

The creative director of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras says this year's anniversary parade will be led by people who took part in the first Mardi Gras parade 30 years ago.

Ten thousand people will march down Sydney's Oxford Street on Saturday night alongside 150 floats.

The leading float will commemorate the 1978 march, which took place when male homosexuality was still illegal and lead to scuffles with police and a number of arrests.

Graham Browning says it was important to mark the occasion.

"Normally we have quite a lavish lead float," he said.

"[But] this year it's not. It is all of our original '78ers marching, which is a very emotional float rather than just being a big whiz-bang affair.

"They will lead the parade and than throughout the parade we have little bits and pieces that lead up to our finale, which is our marching group".

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