Expectations were high and this years Mardi Gras delivered.
The massive crowd was really well behaved and all of the police officers we encountered were very friendly and helpful.
Mardi Gras was broadcast worldwide via the internet (powered by Optus) for the virgin time, and about 300,000 spectators crowded along Oxford St and took in the almost 3-hour long show.
There was a wonderful spread of floats and all manner of glitter and sexy creations, with feathers boas, lots of colour, sequin and skin being all the rage.
It's understood that in excess of 9100 friendly folks marched to Taylor Square. Some of our favs included Marilyn look-a-likes, cheerleaders, butterflies and polished up police.
Dykes on Bikes and Love Muscle were both also very popular crowd pleasers.
We counted about 20 of the 120 floats promoting marriage equality, pushing this year's theme of "Infinite Love"
Many politicians got behind the cause, with Federal MPs Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek, and State MPs Carmel Tebbutt, Penny Sharpe and Linda Burney all marching in Rainbow Labor’s marriage equality float. State MP Bruce Notley-Smith, who also spoke at the media media conference was on the GLBTI Liberals float.
Many people feel that the amazing Kylie Minogue-themed float was the best. It was designed for Kylie to spec.
Kylie made her first appearance at the Sydney Mardi Gras since 1998.
Minogue, 43, said the event holds great memories for her having attended twice before.
"It’s such a great way to celebrate the relationship between the gay community and myself and everything we have been through together," she said.
"The city feels alive, it's something that is great for Sydney, great for Australia and I am so honoured to be a part of it.".
It was mainly Kylie that also drew a massive crowd to the party at Hordern Pavillion - Royal Hall of Industries - Moore Park.
Kylie Minogue news...
Yes, Kylie is returned to Mardi Gras Sydney tonight. Earlier in the day she put out to the universe: "Please dear, dear Sydney, just keep the rain away while we party, Kylie told Fairfax Media "A lot of effort is still going into the performance on Saturday night and, personally, I'm excited to see the parade and feel the spirit of the city, the spirit of the people and to be part of that is a beautiful thing." Her upcoming appearance at the Mardigrasland Party in the Entertainment Quarter is sold out. Its been 14 years since she graced Mardi Gras and said her 2012 return "just felt right". "It's hard to believe I've been in music for 25 years, and in showbiz even longer," she said. After Mardi Gras, she will present her music in a more stripped-back setting as part of the ongoing K25 celebrations.
Kylie! Australia's pop queen performed at the Mardi Gras party. It as a 20-minute medley of songs stretching from her first album to her most recent, Aphrodite. Minogue's song arrangements are completely tailor-made for the show which took place at the Royal Hall of Industries. Kylie's show began at 2pm, suggesting she's still quite the night owl and party animal. 16 amazing talented dancers supported the pop princess as she wowed the crowd.
Political and People Power outcomes on the way?...
Last year, Barry O'Farrell announced that he would allow a conscious vote for NSW Liberal members on the issue of gay marriage.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard allowed the same for her Labor Party members in 2011, resulting in the party voting in favour of the move.
Greens senator Sarah Hansen-Young, who confessed she was "not a virgin" of the Mardi Gras, said the parade was an opportunity to celebrate how far the Marriage Equality Campaign had come in parliament.
"We have several bills in parliament," she said.
"Tony Abbott now has to step out of the way and let his party catch up with the people."
The parade is an annual event by the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which aims to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities.
Ms Hansen-Young advised the Mardi Gras was an important event not just for those involved but for the nation.
"It (the parade) has grown to the point where it's not just the Sydney community but the whole Australian community saying yes, let's celebrate diversity," she said.
Mardi Gras TV
Kylie Minogue official website
Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
Eva Rinaldi Photography
Music News Australia