Mardi Gras filled the streets with love on Saturday, 2 March 2013 and The Wayside Chapel was there with our fabulous float!
Sixty visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff members took part in Wayside's float to show our love and support for the LGBTQI communities. Our awesome dance troupe kept the crowds happy with a choregraphed dance and our Wayside float participants waved and blew countless kisses to the audience from the float. What an incredible sense of community, love and energy! We were all blessed to be a part of the parade and help Wayside celebrate ‘Generations of Creating Community’.
It was such a huge effort to build our dream float and we could not have done it without the wonderful generosity of many individuals and businesses (listed below). As with any great achievement, this was not the effort of a small few, but rather a community of likeminded loving people. We would like to say thank you to everyone so you can see just how many people joined forces to deliver one of the biggest outpourings of love Wayside has ever seen!
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We would like to thank the following people and businesses for helping with Mardi Gras.
Margaret Butler and the team at Blueprint/www.gifts.com.au – Thank you once again for your generous donation of $3000 to be our official sponsors and for your relentless support of The Wayside Chapel. Your love knows no boundaries.
Fyaz Gill from Artel Constructions – Thank you for donating all the construction materials, for giving up so much of your own time, for providing two amazing builders (thanks Jason and Scott) on construction day and for your problem solving, calm nature in creating our dream float.
Marta McElroy – Not only are you a Wayside volunteer extraordinaire but you slaved away for countless hours and your creativity, passion, smiles, energy and typical ‘can do’ nature made our float stand out from the rest. You are part of the Wayside family!
Mick Hurst from Signwave - Thanks for being such a generous angel in donating your time to design our sponsor signage and for providing us with generous discounts! You and the team at Signwave are the ultimate professionals!
Joslin Hartley at Looksfresh Photography – Thank you for being our wonderful unpaid photographer. Every time we looked over at your, your lit up face and endless smiles encouraged us to ride the Mardi Gras wave of love even more!
Chelsea Lamond and Ella Taachi from Mango - We loved having Channel 9 and ABC in to Wayside to film our fabulousness! To get such great media and radio coverage helps us spread the message of love over hate to the world! You guys are the masters of media!
Jimmy from The Love Police - Thank you for coming to our aid at the last minute to make sure we had our beautiful T-shirts emblazoned with the Wayside logo! Your beautiful T-shirts and printing meant so many in the crowds got to see our hot to trot logo!
Michele from Evolution Signs – Thank you doing such a fabulous job creating our amazing jigsaw piece placards and the side banners for our float! Our visitors and volunteers painted them beautifully and they were the centrepiece of our float! And thanks for being so kind to let us pick them up so early for our dancing practice!
Andy Benke and Claire Murphy – Thank you so much for mixing and recording our dance track so quickly! You and your DJ skills ROCK! And Claire- to have donated your DJ and sound equipment for free was beyond the call of duty!
Suzette the Sewing Angel - Thank you so much for sewing together our floats colourful canopy for absolutely no cost! What a gem you are!
Anthony Esebag – Thanks for voluntarily offering to be our unpaid videographer and for also putting up with the weather and general Wayside madness to make sure our dance moves and float are captured and not forgotten! The video is amazing and you perfectly captured the spirit of Wayside.
Laura Murray-Roach – Thanks for bringing the most inspired team of unpaid make-up artists and for creating the most exciting faces on all our volunteers, dancers and visitors! You were a passionate, kind team who made us all look extra fabulous!
Our Warehouse Space Angel - Thank you so much for providing us with such a huge and perfect warehouse space at next to nothing to build and store our float! We would have been lost without you and quite frankly would not have made it down that parade!
Sophie Ross – All hail Sergeant Sophie! You gave up so many Saturdays to train us all into Mardi Gras gear but more than that, you filled the room and our spirits with your same passion and enthusiasm which spurred us down that parade with extra glitz and jazz hands! We missed you being there but felt well prepared and fabulous thanks to you!
Guy Cooper – Thank you for being our all important truck driver and driving our float with absolute care. Thanks also for gathering all the lights, cameras and action needed to make us shine! Your role as Fyaz’s right hand building man was much appreciated too!
The dance troupe – Thank you for giving up your Saturday mornings and, from what I hear spending hours in your own times at BBQ’s practising your moves! I hope you all felt as fulfilled and energised by the experience as we are by the love and dedication you applied to making sure Wayside’s message of love was shared with the crowds on the night! What a night! We hope to see many of you back on the dance floor with us next year!
The banner holders and walking troupe – Thank you for holding our “Generations of Community” banner for everyone to see in all its glory, for your crazy energy in hugging the crowds and standing tall alongside the dancers!
The float participants – Thank you all for donning colourful wigs, amazing tutus prepared by our very own Raquel and dancing your tooshies off while waving madly to an adoring crowd! We hope you are all still floating on cloud nine after such a special night together!
Tess MacGibbon – Thank you for being our star painter for volunteering so much of your time to create gorgeous colourful puzzle pieces for our float and also dancers and visitors to hold proudly on the day!
John Millard – Thank you for driving our crew to the meeting point and dealing with the ridiculous amount of noise generated from screaming, excited participants on the way there! Especially Kenneth the Menneth!
Waysides LGBQTI Group - Thank you to the most awesome group of Wayside visitors who were an integral part in our music selection and loads of preparation for costumes and our float! Your input and time was invaluable and we love you!
Peter and Chantal - Thanks so much for being there after the parade on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning to help us deconstruct our float and put it away safely for next year!
Wayside Staff (John, Una, Leslie, Niki, Amy, Bec, Mon, Lindy) - To all the staff who helped encourage our beautiful visitors to be a part of the parade and help us so fabulously in the lead up with painting and banner building and whatever crazy things we threw at you! And to all the staff who dressed up, donned some Mardi Gras rainbow face paint and shook their stuff down Oxford Street with us on the night- we are one big community here and this event just proved it. What a team!
Wayside visitors - Last but definitely not least, our love and pride goes out to Racquel, Mish, Kenneth, Lani, Mason, Alan, Fabi who each helped in their own special way but who all came along and joined us on the float to wave to the crowds and share their connection to the rest of the community. It took a lot of courage and passion and we thank them for being alongside of us! A very special mention must be made for Racquel who tirelessly and with much passion made all our colourful tutus. John and Crystal were other visitors who helped behind the scenes also and who we need to make sure we thank!
Photos from Mardi Gras 2013 - you can view more here.
Video from Mardi Gras 2013 can be viewed here.