Australia: 10,000 attendees march in biggest Sydney Mardi Gras so far

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This year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade was one the largest ever, with over 10,000 attendees joining to celebrate in the march.

Despite heavy rain on Saturday, the 36th annual parade got underway with so many attendees that organisers couldn’t keep the event under its 4 hour allotted length.

Sydney mayor Clover Moore said: “This is a global event, the biggest of its kind in the world, and it’s good to make those statements.”

Among the 144 floats which wound their way through central Sydney, this year’s parade saw several Vladimir Putin-themed attractions, including a giant sinister-looking puppet of the Russian leader.

All of Australia’s major political parties were represented, with a number of MPs marching in the parade including Labor Senator Penny Wong.

Ms Wong said: “Mardi Gras is an affirmation, not only for those of us who are confident enough to march, but also for those still coming to terms with their sexuality.”

Last year reports emerged around a video that police had allegedly used unnecessary force at Sydney Mardi Gras. A video and several witness accounts alleging police violence at the event also came to light.