February 15 - March 05, 2023

Sydney Mardi Gras

February 25, 2023 @ 06:00 pm

Start: Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Mardi Gras
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About Sydney Mardi Gras

Are you ready to go down? Down under, that is! Sydney Mardi Gras is the largest gay party in Australia, and one of the biggest dates in the LGBTQ Pride calendar worldwide. From mid-February to early March, the city streets and venues will come alive with an array of pride-related fun in the sun.  

Being the city's main gay pride event, Mardi Gras Sydney attracts thousands of partygoers every year. The whole event is spread out over almost three weeks. Expect the main Parade, the Fair Day (a free family-friendly carnival), queer art, the Sissy Ball (voguing party), Circuit-style parties, talks, films and so much more. Sydney Mardi Gras really is an event where the whole LGBTQ community is celebrated and embraced. Indeed, there are hundreds of events happening, so be sure to have your event calendar free! 

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is arguably the highlight of the three-week festival, drawing more than 8,500 participants and roughly 300,000 spectators each year. The 1.7 kilometer parade usually kicks off from Oxford Street, before snaking through Flinders Street and Anzac Parade. Featuring colorful floats and performers, the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is a true celebration of local LGBTQ culture, and endeavors to send a strong political theme each year.  

Sydney Mardi Gras first started through a gay rights parade in Sydney, on June 24, 1978. Following a day commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, LGBTQ locals gathered on Oxford Street at 10pm to march for equal recogition, fight descrimination against LGBTQ people in employment and housing, revoke anti-gay laws, and end police harassment. The event drew an impressive 2000 marchers, however, it was later interrupted by police intervention, with 53 participants being arrested. In 1981, the event was shifted to February, and given the official title of Sydney Mardi Gras. Both participation and spectator rates increased significantly, and set the precedent for many Sydney Mardi Gras parades to follow suit. Every year a theme is set, with parade attendees encouraged to dress accordingly. 

So if you are looking to experience your pride down under, in the heart of the Australian summer, be sure to pencil Sydney Mardi Gras into your gay events calendar this year. With loads of cultural events, an impressive parade, and plenty of themed parties taking place over the course of the three weeks, you would be missing out if you didn't attend Sydney Mardi Gras. Sydney has also won the bid to host WorldPride 2023, so things are only just getting started when it comes to pride in this city! 

Program for Sydney Mardi Gras

For 2023, Sydney Mardi Gras and WorldPride will unite in one queer extravaganza Down Under! For more details on the event, including dates and highlights, check out our dedicated Sydney WorldPride 2023 page. And for some extra inspiration, take a look at our 10 Reasons to Go to Sydney WorldPride 2023.   

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is a wild and colorful extravaganza that brings Sydney to a standstill. Of course, being summer here, the Parade helps to push the temperatures even higher! Sounds good? Then get planning your trip to Australia’s hottest gay pride event.  


Pictures of Sydney Mardi Gras

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