Revellers arrive for Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade as Kylie Minogue rumoured to perform

Pop singing icon Kylie Minogue has made a surprise appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney as festival goers celebrate the event’s 41st year.

A crowd of around 300,000 revellers and 12,500 parade participants have soaked in the festivities at the LGBTQI’s annual night of celebration.

The glitter-filled celebrations are set to go on long into Sunday morning, with the New South Wales government relaxing its lockout laws to allow venues to serve alcohol as late as 3.30am. 

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Pop singing icon Kylie Minogue (pictured centre in golden dress) has made a surprise appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney as festival goers celebrate the event's 41st year

Pop singing icon Kylie Minogue (pictured centre in golden dress) has made a surprise appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney as festival goers celebrate the event's 41st year

Pop singing icon Kylie Minogue (pictured centre in golden dress) has made a surprise appearance at the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney as festival goers celebrate the event’s 41st year

Minogue was pictured with a group of party-goers wearing sombreros - with it rumoured she could perform as part of the festivities 

Minogue was pictured with a group of party-goers wearing sombreros - with it rumoured she could perform as part of the festivities 

Minogue was pictured with a group of party-goers wearing sombreros – with it rumoured she could perform as part of the festivities 

 The glitter-filled celebrations are set to go on long into Sunday morning, with the NSW government relaxing its lockout laws to allow venues to serve alcohol as late as 3.30am

 The glitter-filled celebrations are set to go on long into Sunday morning, with the NSW government relaxing its lockout laws to allow venues to serve alcohol as late as 3.30am

 The glitter-filled celebrations are set to go on long into Sunday morning, with the NSW government relaxing its lockout laws to allow venues to serve alcohol as late as 3.30am

Spectators have lined the 1.7km route which goes along Oxford Street, Flinders Street and Anzac Parade from the south-east corner of Hyde Park to Moore Park

A crowd of around 300,000 revellers are expected to soak in the festivities at the LGBTQI’s annual night of celebration – which is marking its 41st year

 As crowds arrived at the annual celebration of diversity and the LGBTIQ community, a sparkling variety of outfits were on display from attendees

Parade-goers were pictured posing with the Marine Rescue NSW float prior to the night of nights for the LGBTIQ community kicking off

Parade-goers were pictured posing with the Marine Rescue NSW float prior to the night of nights for the LGBTIQ community kicking off

Parade-goers were pictured posing with the Marine Rescue NSW float prior to the night of nights for the LGBTIQ community kicking off

Despite a heavy police presence, those officers posted to the parade route were still able to let their hair down - with one officer posing with a woman in a golden leotard

Despite a heavy police presence, those officers posted to the parade route were still able to let their hair down - with one officer posing with a woman in a golden leotard

Despite a heavy police presence, those officers posted to the parade route were still able to let their hair down – with one officer posing with a woman in a golden leotard

The oldest female-identified motorcycle group in Australia took part in the pre-parade festivities which kicked off at 7pm 

The oldest female-identified motorcycle group in Australia took part in the pre-parade festivities which kicked off at 7pm 

The oldest female-identified motorcycle group in Australia took part in the pre-parade festivities which kicked off at 7pm 

Extended opening hours are in place for a handful of streets including Oxford Street and the surrounding area as the lockout laws are relaxed

200 floats representing a variety of Australian bodies are on show on Saturday night - including a float marking the fifth anniversary of the Broken Heel Festival and the 25th Anniversary of the movie Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

200 floats representing a variety of Australian bodies are on show on Saturday night - including a float marking the fifth anniversary of the Broken Heel Festival and the 25th Anniversary of the movie Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

200 floats representing a variety of Australian bodies are on show on Saturday night – including a float marking the fifth anniversary of the Broken Heel Festival and the 25th Anniversary of the movie Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

A participant carries a placard bringing attention to the LGBTI community in Pakistan as part of the FOBGAYS+ - Fearless Together section of the parade

A participant carries a placard bringing attention to the LGBTI community in Pakistan as part of the FOBGAYS+ - Fearless Together section of the parade

A participant carries a placard bringing attention to the LGBTI community in Pakistan as part of the FOBGAYS+ – Fearless Together section of the parade

Participants, some of them wearing traditional South Asian attire, participate in the annual parade in central Sydney

Participants, some of them wearing traditional South Asian attire, participate in the annual parade in central Sydney

Participants, some of them wearing traditional South Asian attire, participate in the annual parade in central Sydney

200 floats will make their way down the famous Sydney street between 7pm and 11pm, with the event’s theme chosen as ‘Fearless’ for 2019.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the theme aimed to draw attention to the bravery of those in the LGBTQI community who had fought against discrimination. 

‘Many LGBTIQ people feel lonely and isolated and Mardi Gras gives you the opportunity to reach out for help, to be fearless,’ he said.

The main parade opened at 7.30pm with a contingent of First Nations participants – highlighting the challenges faced by Aboriginal communities.

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York.

It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes. 

Minogue was pictured arriving at the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday evening following rumours she would preform in a secret show as part of the festivities

Minogue was pictured arriving at the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday evening following rumours she would preform in a secret show as part of the festivities

Minogue was pictured arriving at the Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday evening following rumours she would preform in a secret show as part of the festivities

Two NSW Ambulance staff provided assistance to a reveller on the Mardi Gras parade route on Saturday evening

One participant donned sparkling gold glitter ahead of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade's 41st iteration 

One participant donned sparkling gold glitter ahead of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade's 41st iteration 

One participant donned sparkling gold glitter ahead of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade’s 41st iteration 

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York. It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York. It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade began in 1978 as a march and commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York. It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes

It is an annual event promoting awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and themes

Two people were pictured kissing in Hyde Park in the build-up to the event celebrating the LGBTQI world

Two people were pictured kissing in Hyde Park in the build-up to the event celebrating the LGBTQI world

Two people were pictured kissing in Hyde Park in the build-up to the event celebrating the LGBTQI world

As the crowds gathered at the start of the 1.7km route in Hyde Park, attendees wearing an array of feathers, glitter and elaborate head pieces were pictured kicking off the carnival atmosphere.

Neighbours star April Rose Pengilly flaunted her Mardi Gras attire as the cast of the long-running TV soap prepared to take part in the parade for the first time.

Co-star Jodi Anasta was also pictured in a striking black ensemble as she prepared to take to the Oxford Street route on Saturday evening. 

One politically-themed float was pictured at the parade in central Sydney, appearing to criticise Prime Minister Scott Morrison's policy on sexual minorities

One politically-themed float was pictured at the parade in central Sydney, appearing to criticise Prime Minister Scott Morrison's policy on sexual minorities

One politically-themed float was pictured at the parade in central Sydney, appearing to criticise Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s policy on sexual minorities

Two parade-goers were pictured in rainbow-coloured outfits near to the starting point of the 1.7km route

Two parade-goers were pictured in rainbow-coloured outfits near to the starting point of the 1.7km route

Two parade-goers were pictured in rainbow-coloured outfits near to the starting point of the 1.7km route

They were joined by an equally strong police presence, with more than 1000 officers deployed in the city’s CBD as part of a high-visibility operation.

Members of the Public Order and Riot Squad, the dog unit and PolAir will be assisting general duties officers to ensure the annual celebration of rainbow pride and diversity passes without incident.

NSW Police assistant commissioner Tony Crandell warned in the build-up to the event there was the possibility people would take drugs, and urged people to take care of their friends.

Despite the high level of security at the event, those officers posted to the parade route were still able to let their hair down – with one officer posing with a woman in a golden leotard.

Once again? Kylie graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012 (pictured) and rumours are rife she will do so once again this weekend 

Once again? Kylie graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012 (pictured) and rumours are rife she will do so once again this weekend 

Once again? Kylie graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012 (pictured) and rumours are rife she will do so once again this weekend 

Minogue graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012, appearing at the official after-party with a sizzling performance 

Minogue graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012, appearing at the official after-party with a sizzling performance 

Minogue graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012, appearing at the official after-party with a sizzling performance 

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the theme aimed to draw attention to the bravery of those in the LGBTQI community who had fought against discrimination

'Many LGBTIQ people feel lonely and isolated and Mardi Gras gives you the opportunity to reach out for help, to be fearless,'he said

'Many LGBTIQ people feel lonely and isolated and Mardi Gras gives you the opportunity to reach out for help, to be fearless,'he said

‘Many LGBTIQ people feel lonely and isolated and Mardi Gras gives you the opportunity to reach out for help, to be fearless,’he said

As the crowds gathered at the start of the 1.7km route in Hyde Park, attendees wearing an array of feathers, glitter and elaborate head pieces were pictured kicking off the carnival atmosphere

As the crowds gathered at the start of the 1.7km route in Hyde Park, attendees wearing an array of feathers, glitter and elaborate head pieces were pictured kicking off the carnival atmosphere

As the crowds gathered at the start of the 1.7km route in Hyde Park, attendees wearing an array of feathers, glitter and elaborate head pieces were pictured kicking off the carnival atmosphere

Speculation that Minogue may play a part in the celebrations has been mounting after she posted multiple social media photos of her out and about in Sydney over the past few days.

When asked by the radio show’s hosts if she planned to be part of 2019’s parade or after party, the Especially For You star refused to give a definite answer.

‘I know, the pressure! I actually don’t know. That’s the honest truth. I don’t know,’ the pint-sized singer insisted.

Minogue graced the Sydney Mardi Gras in 2012, appearing at the official after-party with a sizzling performance.

A reveller in a bright orange outfit was pictured posing ahead of the event's 7pm start time on Saturday evening

A reveller in a bright orange outfit was pictured posing ahead of the event's 7pm start time on Saturday evening

A reveller in a bright orange outfit was pictured posing ahead of the event’s 7pm start time on Saturday evening

They were joined by an equally strong police presence, with more than 1000 officers deployed in the city's CBD as part of a high-visibility operation

They were joined by an equally strong police presence, with more than 1000 officers deployed in the city's CBD as part of a high-visibility operation

They were joined by an equally strong police presence, with more than 1000 officers deployed in the city’s CBD as part of a high-visibility operation

Extended opening hours are only in place for a handful of streets during the lockout law exemption - including Oxford Street and the surrounding area

Extended opening hours are only in place for a handful of streets during the lockout law exemption - including Oxford Street and the surrounding area

Extended opening hours are only in place for a handful of streets during the lockout law exemption – including Oxford Street and the surrounding area

Extended opening hours are only in place for a handful of streets including Oxford Street and the surrounding area.

But City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster said she hoped their success might encourage the government to remove the lockout altogether. 

‘I’ll continue to lobby the NSW Government for the complete removal of the lockout laws,’ she said.

‘It is my firm view and that of many business owners in the City of Sydney that the lockout laws have served their purpose.’

NSW Transport said they have laid on extra trains and buses to help revellers get home after the celebrations. 

Members of the Public Order and Riot Squad, the dog unit and PolAir will be assisting general duties officers to ensure the annual celebration of rainbow pride and diversity passes without incident

Members of the Public Order and Riot Squad, the dog unit and PolAir will be assisting general duties officers to ensure the annual celebration of rainbow pride and diversity passes without incident

Members of the Public Order and Riot Squad, the dog unit and PolAir will be assisting general duties officers to ensure the annual celebration of rainbow pride and diversity passes without incident

 

 

 

 

 

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