Bright costumes, glitter and rainbow flags filled Oxford Street last night as thousands celebrated the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras. What made this night extra special was the addition of international superstar Cher, who snuck a few selfies with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Cher looked vibrant with bright orange hair, heavy make-up and a ‘rocker’ girl ensemble. She wore a low cut top and a flamboyant silver-embroidered jacket.
She brought the parade to a standstill when she initially made her entrance. According to reports the singer and prominent gay icon arrived with the tune of ‘Turn Back Time’ playing in the background. She was accompanied by dancers holding large purple letters that spelled out her name. Thousands began chanting her name around 8pm–the time she was rumored to be appearing–which prompted her to start her performance. Cher’s stint on the Quantas float featured dozens of Cher imitators donning some of her most iconic looks.
Afterward, she chatted with fans from the crowd and took a selfie with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife. Turnbull shared the selfie on Twitter stating: “Welcome to Sydney, Cher! Lucy and I and all your fans thrilled to be with you at the 40th Mardi Gras & first since Australia achieved marriage equality.”
Many other politicians and celebrities shared there own commentary of what the night meant to them including gay senator, Penny Wong: “Tonight, forty years after the 78ers marched down Kings Cross in protest at their treatment, we pay tribute at @sydneymardigras to all those who came before us as we celebrate achieving the next step in our fight for equality. #MardiGras40”
Tonight, forty years after the 78ers marched down Kings Cross in protest at their treatment, we pay tribute at @sydneymardigras to all those who came before us as we celebrate achieving the next step in our fight for equality.#MardiGras40 pic.twitter.com/JA8rG2YyDf
— Senator Penny Wong (@SenatorWong) March 3, 2018
Bill Shorten also attended the event with his wife Chloe–both were part of the Rainbow Labor float with deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek. Around 300,000 people attended the Mardi Gras parade this year, most enjoying it even more since Australia’s legal acceptance of same-sex marriage at the end of last year.
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