Stars flash their flesh for Mardi Gras

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 07 Maret 2015 | 20.01

The final touches of glitter and sparkle are being applied in preparation for the Mardi Gras and this year the weather gods are smiling down on Sydney's loud and proud with a rare, clear night forecast for the march

Danni Minogue, along with Jessica Mauboy and Nick Jonas, is performing at the official Mardi Gras after party in Moore Park tonight. Photo: Toby Zerna. Source: News Corp Australia

AUSTRALIA'S LGBTIQ community is celebrating its biggest night of the year tonight, the 37th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, affectionately referred to as "gay Christmas".

More than 10,000 people will strut their stuff down Sydney's Oxford Street, dressed (or undressed) to the nines to celebrate and pay their respects to those who have fought for gay rights.

The celebration kicked off — as always — with a convoy of Dykes on Bikes. As the sun went down, the riders were followed down Oxford Street by this year's lead float, the First Australians Freedom Riders bus, designed to celebrate Australia's indigenous people and the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

Former NSW governor Dame Marie Bashir and her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie are expected to be honoured as chiefs at the march. The distinguished couple will travel along the parade route in a convertible in recognition of their work to combat homophobia.

This year's Mardi Gras parade kicks off in Sydney. Picture: Jeremy Piper Source: News Corp Australia

An additional 800 police are on duty tonight, and not just in the crowd, with plenty taking part in the march as well. 150 floats spanning five kilometres, more than 800 volunteers and thousands of onlookers have lined Sydney's streets, not to mention half a tonne of glitter.

True to form, there is no shortage of six packs, feathered frocks, sequins and colourful wigs.

Almost 20,000 people are expected to watch Danni Minogue, Nick Jonas and Jessica Mauboy perform at the official after party at the Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park following the parade.

Sydney turned it up for the 37th annual Mardi Gras parade. Picture: Jeremy Piper Source: News Corp Australia

Plenty of celebs have showed up - 2Day FM's Dan & Maz, Jess Mauboy, Miranda Tapsell, Richard Reid, Justice Crew, along with several high profile athletes, including former Olympians and football players who took part in the parade.

KIIS 1065 FM's Intern Pete was having the time of his life.

The parade starts at 7.30pm.

How are you celebrating Mardi Gras? Tweet us using the hashtag #MardiGras2015 @newscomauhq

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