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Mardi Gras Parade

  • Things to do, Fairs and festivals
  1. Woman in the Mardi Gras parade in 2018
    Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan
  2. People dancing in underwear at Mardi Gras parade 2018
    Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan
  3. Mardi Gras 2018 supplied photo
    Photograph: Jeffrey Feng
  4. Oxford street Mardi Gras 2018
    Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan

Time Out says

The city has a special atmosphere when the pinnacle Sydney Mardi Gras event rolls into town

After two years of being booted to a ticketed event at the Sydney Cricket Ground, this annual parade march returns to its physical and spiritual home on Sydney's Pink Mile on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

All eyes will be on some 12,500 marchers as more than 200 floats adorn Oxford Street for the first time since 2020 – kicked off of course, by the famous rumble of the Dykes on Bikes. 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people line Oxford and Flinders Streets to watch the colourful procession of floats shimmy their way down the parade route to share messages of equality, diversity, strength and pride. It’s 45 years since Sydney’s first Mardi Gras protest, and with Sydney WorldPride bringing an Olympic level of visitors to the city, we're in for a big one. 

An electric energy fills the city on parade night (or “Gay Christmas”, as its known). The streets are packed with bodies, everyone is glittering, the outfits are risque, corporate office workers may be spotted suspended from the roof of a bondage-themed float by their nipples, only to return to their respectable nine-to-five come Monday.

A good parade night requires a plan. Punters start packing vantage spots on the streets during the day, so it is best to claim a spot early if you plan to do so, and grab a milk crate to stand on if you’re vertically challenged.

The best way to enjoy the parade is by being part of it, so don’t miss the opportunity if you find a fitting float to join. The celebrations continue at the official after party, but you can also look out for other fabulous parties happening around town on this fabled evening.

And be warned, travelling in and out of the city around the parade is not an easy feat, and phone batteries may give out just as you’re trying to find your mates. Plan, plan, plan – and for goodness sake, make sure your glitter is bio-degradable.

Sydney WorldPride has put together a useful guide over here, including downloadable parade route maps.

Ready to party? Here's the best places to have a good time on Parade Night.

Alannah Maher
Written by
Alannah Maher


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