Monsters, motors and marchers join Cardiff Mardi Gras

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Cardiff held it’s 8th annual Mardi Gras last Saturday, with around 40,000 people overcoming the rain to visit the event in the Welsh capital’s Cooper’s Field.

The Mardi Gras festival began in 1999, when it first attracted just 6,000 people, but the event now brings all groups to Wales, from Doctor Who monsters, to a gay rugby tournament, to the “World’s First Gay Motor Show.”

The organisers have claimed that the Cardiff Mardi Gras is one of the biggest free lesbian and gay events in the UK.

The festival goers were also treated to a preview from The Pink New’s publishing partner 3Sixty magazine.

The patrons of the event include Doctor Who supremo and Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies and singer and TV presenter Charlotte Church.

The festival drew support from local politicians with representation from Wales four main political parties.

Resident gay rugby team the Cardiff Lions hosted a seven a side tournament with teams from London, Edinburgh and Bristol all represented.

Player Jamie Lewis told reporters “They might not be the same off the pitch (as other teams), but on pitch they have exactly the same mentality, they can be equally as aggressive, equally skilled, equally as competitive and determined.”

Stonewall Cymru used the event to showcase their new all Wales LGB survey 2006.

A spokesman for Stonewall Cymru said: “The event went really well.

“We were busy from 11 to 5, and the rain didn’t put anyone off at all,”

He told that their stall alone dealt with over 200 people interested in the survey and another 400 more interested in other Stonewall campaigns.