Not one of the 20,000 international travelers that are flying in for Oz’s greatest, gayest event of the year, Sydney Mardi Gras (née Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)? Well, dry those eyes with your yet-to-be-used boa: You can still shake your booty with the best of ‘em and join in the fun of Australia’s most iconic public parade as Optus streams it to a worldwide audience for the first-time ever at MardisGrasTV.org.au — in high-def so you can be sure to catch every shimmering sequin.
Always a hoot, the festivities are shaping up for a banner year, expecting to top the $30 million it pumped into the local New South Wales economy last year. One reason: pop star Kylie Minogue, who returns after 25 years to be queen of the parade, in addition to a sure-to-be-show-stopping performance at the signature main event Mardigrasland. (See below for a video from the diminuative diva.)
For now, MardiGrasTV is being continually updated with content from the three-week festival, such as high-profile artist interviews, official K25 celebrations with Ms. Minogue, and behind-the-scenes highlights like a History of Gay Mardi Gras — from a parade where the police blocked it to a parade where they stomp in it! — Fair Day 2012, and the Harbour ’12 CoolChange symposium, as well as still photos of the costumes and parade. Think of it as your free all-in-one armchair traveling A/V inspiration resource for the what-to-do Down Under.
And if you happen to be in town, there are plenty of tips for getting the most out of your experience, in addition to digital apps to guide your way. Poke through for and check back 7:30pm EST on Sunday, March 4 when the special one-hour package of the Mardi Gras Parade goes live.
“From small regional towns in Australia through to the biggest cities in the world can share in the unmatched excitement that comes with Parade,” beams Michael Rolik, CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. “It will allow our community’s diversity and unified message of equality to shine across the world and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Inspired? Start planning ahead for next year with gay tour operator Zoom Vacations, which offers packages from the US. Or plan it yourself with our Sydney destination guide and our Travel Deals to get the best prices around.