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Top 5 Mardi Gras Floats

Posted on: February 27, 2014 by Platinum Direct

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With the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras about to kick off on the 4th March, revellers who enjoy the glitter, mobile dance routines and wild costumes are in for a show. That said, it doesn’t matter if you are in Sydney, New Orleans or Rio, no Mardi Gras parade is complete without an over the top float.

Here are five all-time hits:

1. Eye of the Tiger – Taronga Zoo

Eye of the tigeer - Taronga zoo float

Source: http://taronga.org.au/blog/2010-03-03/zoo-tiger-gets-mardi-gras-roar

In most cases, the Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras needs no excuse to sport semi-naked men covered in body paint, but in 2010 they had one. Featuring 85 Taronga Zoo staff members dancing to the tune ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Taronga Zoo’s six metre long float definitely turned heads. Built to celebrate the Year of the Tiger and to help reduce the impact of Palm Oil plantations on wildlife in Asia, this amazing float boasted an image of the fierce feline along with waves of glitter, and of course, men in orange and black body paint.

2. K25 – Kylie Minogue

K25 - The Kylie Minogue float

Source: http://www.visitnsw.com

When it comes to gay icons, nothing gets Oxford Street quite as excited as Kylie Minogue. So imagine the crowd’s excitement at Sydney Mardi Gras 2012 when the parade’s final float contained not just one, but four different Kylie’s from four iconic eras. This extremely shiny tribute to Australia’s much loved diva featured an astonishing 127 back-up dancers – which is probably more than Kylie had in her entire career. With crystal jewels donated by Swarovski, and enough fabulous to take up a whole block of Oxford Street, this float is a fitting nod to the singer who first graced Mardi Gras with a performance in 1994.

3. Bacchasaurus – The Bacchus Krewe

Bacchasauras - The bacchus krew float

Source: http://www.krem.com

Heading to New Orleans, they take Mardi Gras floats to a whole different level. Meet Bacchasaurus. This giant dinosaur has been wheeling down the streets of the city’s Carnival since 1972. When Bacchasaurus debuted on the Mardi Gras stage, he was bigger and bolder than most of what had come before, despite the New Orleans Mardi Gras running since 1857.

The dinosaur belongs to a group known as the Bacchus Krewe, which now contains over 1350 and owns 33 floats. No, the word “krewe” is not some product of the hip hop scene – it’s actually an archaic word that has been used to describe New Orleans Carnival groups since the creation of “Ye Mistick Krewe of Comus” in the 19th century.

4. Leviathan – The Orpheus Krewe

Leviathan - The orpheaus krewe float

Source: http://www.krem.com

Another spectacular float from New Orleans, the Leviathan has been part of the New Orleans Mardi Gras since 1998. Built for the Orpheus Krewe, this rainbow sea serpent is over 41 metres long and was the first float in the world to use fibre – optic lighting. Indeed, the Leviathan has enough glowing bulbs to make Christmas lights look dull. It’s followed behind by “mini-Leviathan”, a dressed up generator doing the hard work of powering the millions of lights on the massive main float.

5. Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom

Baz Luhrmanns strictly ballroom float

Photo: Janie Barrett (SMH)

The word for 2014 is that Baz Luhrmann and his team have created a “genius” float to make Mardi Gras history. The theme? Strictly Ballroom of course. The details of this mega-float are still hush-hush, but we do know that it will feature 98 dancers, six drag queens, and original choreography by Steven Grace, the dance captain in the Strictly Ballroom stage musical.
Although not close to the hulking form of the Leviathan, the float will be over 9 metres long, and 4.2 metres high, which for Oxford Street is a pretty good effort. I can’t say more about the float’s contents, but with eight months in the making I can safely describe Luhrmann’s creation with the words “spectacular spectacular.” Get down to the parade on the 1st of March to see the mystery revealed!

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