Coogee Goes Over the Rainbow
Randwick Council’s latest public initiative, the Rainbow Walkway at Coogee Beach, opened on Saturday to plenty of fanfare. The 50-metre walkway, which arcs around the beach’s main steps, was installed in support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The Coogee Rainbow Walkway is the only one of its kind in the Eastern Suburbs, and along with the new outdoor eating set-up on Coogee Bay Road, brings some inner-city flavour to the beachside suburb.
Other rainbow walkways can be found at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst and Prince Alfred Park in Surry hills.
Randwick Mayor Danny Said was pleased to say that the walkway was well supported by Randwick councillors.
“It was a unanimous decision at Randwick Council to step up our celebrations this year,” Mayor Said told The Beast.
“The rainbow painted on this walkway is a beacon of hope, support and encouragement for our wonderfully diverse community and a celebration of the pride and passion of Mardi Gras.”
The rainbow walkways are a major part of the Mardi Gras celebration in 2021. The parade has been moved from an open public format along Oxford Street to a ticketed event held at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
While the 2019 parade had approximately 500,000 spectators, the 2021 event will be limited to only 23,000 patrons.
However, people can still celebrate the Mardi Gras spirit with a photo opportunity at a rainbow walkway.
Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger said that local celebrations such as the Coogee Rainbow Walkway are an integral part of the festival.
“Local councils play a big part in all our lives and they have great power in being able to shape the community so that they are more inclusive and diverse,” he explained.
“The Coogee Beach Rainbow Walkway will fill the LGBTQI+ community with pride and show them that they are loved and that they are welcome.”
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, March 6.