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A drag queen in a colourful gown and a bright pink wig poses in front of Sydney Harbour
Photograph: Supplied/Sydney World Pride

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade will return to Oxford Street in 2023

For Sydney World Pride, the annual pride march wil sashay down its old stomping grounds for the first time in three years

Alannah Maher
Written by
Alannah Maher
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For two years, that nasty Ms Rona had kicked the official Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade off its original path down Oxford Street and into the Sydney Cricket Ground for a ticketed spectacle. But that detour is set to be corrected in 2023, with the news that the Parade will return to its physical and spiritual home on Sydney’s Pink Mile in time for Sydney World Pride. Some 12,000 marchers and 200 floats will adorn Oxford Street for the first time since 2020. Expect all your Parade favourites, such as the famous rumble of the Dykes on Bikes. We can practically smell the fumes!

Just like the good old days, there will be lots of free viewing areas where you can witness all the sparkle and colours without spending a cent (unless you count the exorbitant entry fees most of the clubs charge on Parade night). In addition, there will be premium viewing spaces with access to exclusive food, drinks and bathrooms.

The news was announced on June 24 on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, where over 1,000 Sydneysiders wearing bright colours converged to create a giant human progress pride flag. The date marks the 44th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978 – a pride demonstration that ended in brutality. 

When Sydney Mardi Gras joins forces with the much anticipated Sydney World Pride in the new year (Feb 17-Mar 5), more than 500,000 locals and visitors are expected to participate, making it the biggest event in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. 

In addition to the parade, the festival program includes lots of much-loved events and a bunch of new ones including sporting events, arts experiences and parties like the massive Bondi Beach Party and the Domain Dance Party. Early bird tickets go on sale from 9am AEST on Monday, July 11, and you can join the Sydney World Pride mailing list to get exclusive access. General public tickets go on sale from July 15 and you can check it all out at sydneyworldpride.com.

Ready to celebrate? Get amongst the best gay and queer pubs, bars and clubs in Sydney.

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