Right on cue the drizzle stopped and thousands of rainbows broke out, but they were not in the sky.
Sydney and its main glitter strip of Oxford Street was awash with a resplendent sea of rainbow flags — fluttering from balconies, pinned to shop windows, waved by the crowd and worn in every way imaginable.
About 200 floats and thousands of performers made for a dazzling Mardi Gras spectacle through the inner-city suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, and even though it sprinkled in the second half of the parade, it was not enough to dampen spirits.
In 2017, the parade was as much about political statements as it was sequins, and this year’s theme was “creating equality”.
“So many of my colleagues solemnise marriages, but they can’t get married themselves,” she said.
“People have to realise, it’s not just about a piece of paper, there are so many things that will come about making life equal.”
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten marched, as did his deputy Tanya Plibersek and Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.
— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) March 4, 2017
Despite the party happening on the border of his Wentworth electorate, one notable absentee was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was in Queensland.
The celebrations had a serious side, too.
A tribute float to popstar George Michael, who died last year, was poignant.
“I think one of the best things about Mardi Gras is the cultural celebration and diversity for all Australians it gives,” he said.
“This is one of the biggest celebrations we have here and it’s an opportunity from people from all communities to come together and welcome each other.”
There were several groups taking part for the first time.
The Tiwi Island Sistagirls, a group of about 30 Aboriginal transgender women, were able to join the parade after a crowd-funding campaign.
Due to June’s mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida, more than 1,000 police officers were deployed across Sydney’s roads, airspace and public transport system to oversee the event.