Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras up for sale

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 30 2002 11:00 PM ET

The organizers of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, one of the world's biggest gay and lesbian celebrations, were ordered to sell all of the event's costumes, props, floats, and other assets in order to pay off some of its $250,000 debt. The 25-year-old Mardi Gras announced four weeks ago that it was going into voluntary administration because of the debts, and now organizers say it will be a struggle to try to save the event. "Obviously, we've tried quite a few avenues to date and they haven't been successful, so we now have to look at another way of trying to attract some funds to put back to the creditors," Mardi Gras president Julie Reagan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. News of what The Sydney Morning Herald called the Mardi Gras "fire sale" prompted criticism from many of the city's gay activists and calls for a boycott of next year's Mardi Gras if the event's ownership is transferred to commercial interests.