Coastal Twist at Mardi Gras

Coastal Twist Festival selected for a 2nd appearance at Sydney Mardi Gras 2021

Mardi Gras is this magic time of year where we all come together as a community to not only make something special to showcase the Central Coast at the parade but it’s also about forming new bonds, new connections and making life long friendships that continue well after all the glitter and glamour ends stated Coastal Twist Festival co-head Float Designer Leigh Rijff.

For the 1st time in the 43-year history Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will be transforming the Sydney Cricket Ground into a stunning and sparkling showcase of LGBTQI+ culture and community with a colourful cavalcade starring 5,000 paraders from a selective 100 LGBTQI+ community groups across Australia including Central Coast’s own major Arts & Culture festival “Coastal Twist”.

“Mardi Gras 2021 theme this year is “Rise” and most Coasties would have felt the impact of droughts, fires, floods and a global pandemic, it has tested everyone’s spirit and resolve. Throw creatives and marginalised peoples into that mix and as the agents of change we know 1st hand when we “rise” to the occasion, amazing things happen” stated organisation Chair Juan Iocco.

Good news arrived on Friday 15th Jan that the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged easing restrictions after the state recorded a second day in a row with no locally acquired coronavirus cases, same day Sydney Mardi Gras also confirmed the spectacular 43rd Annual Parade will be taking place on Saturday 6 March and televised live across the country on SBS. This year encouraging people to gather friends and hold their own covid-safe celebrations at home and tune into the broadcast.

Coastal Twist Festival co-head Float Designer Shane Milsom said: “Our intention is our float will bring our multiple diverse central coast communities together as one unique & beautiful force. As the hinterland rolls down to our coastline, the Central Coast creates one of the most amazing coastlines in the world and with that magic as our inspirations our 2021 Coastie Mardi Gras float will “Rise” with some of the fabulous hidden creatures from the depths of our salty waters”.

Juan Iocco adding “The 2021 Parade will take inspiration from its past and move away from large floats, focusing instead on the outlandish pageantry of vibrant costumes, puppetry and props that made it such a phenomenon in its earliest years, in a twist of fate back to community roots is one of the good things that’s come out of this pandemic. Anyone wanting to get involved from marching to Costume making to admin, making cups of tea can go to

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