Monday, March 7, 2011

Darlinghurst: Detritus: Mardis Gras 2011 Photographs

Darlinghurst was buzzing on Saturday night with thousands of Mardis Gras revellers dressed in amazing costumes wandering the streets and streaming out of Kings Cross station all making a bee-line for the parade on Oxford Street. 
There has been much debate on news sites and blogs about whether Mardis Gras is still relevant. To the nay-sayers, I say, you're boring: if you don't like it, no one is making you go along. And to the people who moan, ''It was better in the 80s, these days it is just embarrassing'', you sound like whinging, old fogies carrying on about the past. Why not just let people enjoy themselves.
It's 2011 and the 33-year-old parade still manages to attract thousands of people to march and participate in the floats. Even more watched from the sidelines and from what I can gather they all had a marvellous time celebrating life and love, including this happy golden, young man.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the parade this year but I was lucky enough to stumble on this great scene with golden man at the junction of College, William and Park streets, outside the Australian Museum:

They must have been participants in the last float of the parade.  Most of them had taken so much care with their make-up and costumes and the end result was mind-blowing.

I really don't know how this man managed to balance this massive jewelled and feathered head-dress on his head:

But then I came across this outlandish costume, with the most beautiful fabric and bead detail in the head-dress:

I love how these feathered friends were having a little gossip as if they just gad about in costumes like this all the time:

These three girls had hired fancy-dress costumes and caught the train down from Newcastle, north of Sydney, to watch the parade:

There were about 1000 extra police on the streets to make sure none of the revellers got out of hand. NSW Police did an excellent job this year, using Twitter and Facebook to provide regular traffic updates and public transport announcements so that everything ran smoothly. Only 18 people were arrested. Considering the large crowd, this was an excellent result. And the police that I saw appeared to be enjoying all the great costumes and seemed to be in really good spirits. 

After the parade was over, the streets were littered with alcohol bottles, rubbish and plastic stools, which some enterprising people had been selling to revellers for a tidy profit.
But by Sunday morning, the only signs of the night before were a few stray sequins, feathers and empty booze bottles. 

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