A rainbow flag, the international symbol for gay pride, will be raised above Sydney Town Hall today to mark the start of the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said City of Sydney was proud to host and support the Sydney Mardi Gras.
“Raising the rainbow flag above Sydney Town Hall is the clearest way we can show that Sydney is a welcoming and safe place for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people who live, work or visit,” the Lord Mayor said.
WHAT: The Lord Mayor’s official launch of the 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras season, with the raising of the rainbow flag above Sydney Town Hall.
WHEN: Midday Friday 8 February 2013
WHERE: Sydney Town Hall steps
WHO: Lord Mayor Clover Moore, CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Michael Rolik, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras co-chairs Siri Kommendahl and Peter Urmson and Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of Sydney Mardi Gras, which was born out of political action in the GLBT community and continues to raise awareness, highlight important issues and lobby for change.
This year’s theme, Generations of Love, encourages everyone to think about the generations of people who fought hard for equality and inclusion.
CEO of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Michael Rolik said the community should be proud of the festival, which was known around the world.
“Like our flag, it showcases the diversity of our city to the world and diversity matters because everyone should have a chance to succeed at life,” Mr Rolik said.
“Our festival now marks the Australian culturally-diverse landscape like none before, and through the many years of support from Lord Mayor Clover Moore and the City of Sydney, Sydney Mardi Gras has grown to become the largest night-time street parade in the world.”
The rainbow flag originated in San Francisco about 30 years ago and was designed by artist Gilbert Baker. Since then it has become a worldwide emblem of gay pride and gay-friendly areas.
The red in the flag symbolises life, while orange denotes healing, yellow is for sunlight, green represents nature, blue stands for harmony and violet signifies spirit.
The flag will remain above Sydney Town Hall until 4 March, the day after the Mardi Gras Festival ends.
The City of Sydney is a major sponsor of 2013 Sydney Mardi Gras and has entered a float every year since 2005.
Last year the Council unanimously approved cash sponsorship of $400,000 for Sydney Mardi Gras 2013 and 2014, as well as up to $252,700 in-kind sponsorship.
About 375,000 people attend the festival each year, which attracts about 25,000 unique visitors annually to Sydney, resulting in a contribution of over $30 million to the local economy.
For more information visit: mardigras.org.au
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