Silver City to be shown at Mardi Gras
Wednesday, 26th February, 2020
By Emily Ferguson
Broken Hill will be broadcast live to the world through a Mardi Gras Parade Party at the one and only Palace Hotel this weekend.
Esther La Rovere, Managing Director of the Palace and Festival Director of the Broken Heel Festival, is encouraging everyone to get involved in the magic of Mardi Gras from the comfort of the Palace Hotel Pavilion Room.
Today Esther is heading to Sydney for the Parade on Saturday evening.
“The parade is the big, very public day in Sydney and last year they had 500,000 people just come and watch the parade, and there’s nearly Broken Hill’s population in the parade, about 17,000 people,” she said.
“This year they are broadcasting it live through SBS which is the first time they’ve ever done it where it actually is live.
“There’s only three ways this year to watch the parade which is live on SBS via free to air TV, a live online screening of it or via these eight venues around Australia - and we’re one of those eight venues that’s hosting an official Mardi Gras Parade Party so that’s really exciting.
“The audience this year is going to be in the millions so we’re stoked to be one of the eight official parties for the event.
The party begins at the Palace at 6pm sharp.
“With the logistics of live filming, we actually pre-film something at 6pm which then by the time it gets uploaded and sent to Mardi Gras and they do the editing and get everything ready, but the actual parade is kicking off around 7pm our time.”
While Esther will be part of the parade in Sydney on the Broken Heel Festival float, Amanda Screetly will be hosting the party here in Broken Hill.
“Amanda, and also June Bennett who plays Shirl in the movie, will be hosting and doing the filming for the live cross and then Amanda will be doing some shows, a bit of trivia, some games and watching the parade up on the big screen and doing a bit of their own compering.”
Esther encouraged everyone to come on down to the Palace on Saturday night.
“We really want to show the rest of the nation, and certainly the world, that there’s an exciting bunch of people in Broken Hill who are watching the parade and we think it’s a really exciting thing and we want to have as many faces as we can fit on the screen.”
The Broken Heel Festival has a float in the Mardi Gras Parade for a third year in a row.
“It’s very exciting, we certainly can’t do it without our sponsorship with AAMI Insurance or Suncorp,” said Esther.
“The sponsorship to be able to get the float is really massive, it’s quite an expensive build. This year we’re making this float down in Melbourne so we have probably about 45 paraders around the float.
“There’s the truck which is a big pink Priscilla bus which has been made so we can dismantle it and bring it back to Broken Hill to be used here during the festival and then it’s got our fabulous cast of Ten Divas on that truck.
“We get a custom made soundtrack and then we have all these marchers.”
“The outfit for the marchers has been designed by Nate Rudd who is an Indigenous designer. It’s a bit Starlight Express.
Esther said they held auditions in Broken Hill, Dubbo, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for people to join the parade.
“We’ve got a really mixed bunch of people who are really excited to be part of the dancing crew, including some people from Broken Hill, and a 15 year old, so all ages - and my niece is coming along. It’s really inclusive which is part of the vibe of Mardi Gras.”
Amanda Screetly loves Mardi Gras and is very excited to be hosting the local Parade Party.
“I can’t wait, this is going to be huge and I’m just happy to be a part of it in any way that I can.
“It’s been hard being here for the past two years seeing Mardi Gras happen and it being so far away but now it’s here and it’s bringing the whole country together and it’s going to be great.”