Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras sees our city awash with rainbows, glitter and greetings of “Happy Mardi Gras” from strangers when you walk down the street. As a family we’ve been keen to attend the Mardi Gras parade for a while, but battling the crowds with a wheelchair put us off. That’s until this year, when we secured tickets to the accessible viewing area. I’m really proud to see such a major event in our home town providing such well thought out accessibility arrangements.
MARDI GRAS SYDNEY ACCESSIBILITY
We registered for the accessible viewing tickets months in advance and received confirmation we’d been successful in late January. A letter detailing the arrangements for the evening and wrist bands were provided a few weeks prior to Mardi Gras.
ACCESSIBLE VIEWING FOR MARDI GRAS
The Mardi Gras accessible viewing area is excellent, with limited numbers permitted into the area, front-row viewing of the Mardi Gras parade and bathroom facilities provided.
Accessible stand-alone wheelchair accessible bathroom facilities are provided within the accessible viewing area.
A Changing Places portable bathroom is an impressive addition and one which I hope will be a part of other events in the future.
A staff member was posted near the Changing Places bathroom, which is good because in the location it was placed it would be tricky to independently make your way up the ramp in a wheelchair, press the automatic door button and reverse to accommodate the outward opening door.
I’m hopeful that having these facilities available at major events will enable, and encourage, people with high support needs to get amongst the festivities in the future.
MARDI GRAS SYDNEY – FUN FOR ALL
Our social guy thought Mardi Gras was the best fun ever. The crowd was welcoming and insanely happy so the atmosphere was fantastic.
Being front-row meant there was plenty of interaction with people from the parade and the smile just never left our guy’s face.
OUR MARDI GRAS TIPS
We drove our car into the city and parked (without prior booking) in a parking station in Goulburn Street for $12.
We arrived an hour early and we were initially in the second row of the accessible viewing area. We could see clearly and everyone in the area was respectful. Waiting an hour for the parade to start was as much as our on-the-go guy could do and it was all that was needed thanks to our accessible viewing tickets.
Take a lightweight fold-up chair to make it a more comfortable evening.
No food or drinks is available in this area so BYO!
Loud noises and flashing lights are part of the parade so go equipped with ear muffs if this is difficult for someone in your group.
Add some glitter (there is biodegradable glitter now available) and a bit of colour to your outfit and you’ll fit right in.
Keep an eye out, or contact the Mardi Gras organisers, to register your interest in tickets for the accessible viewing for the event – [email protected]