Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)
Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)
4 min read

World-renowned Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade returns home to Oxford Street this year in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras march.

This iconic event unites individuals across the LGBTQIA+ communities to showcase their pride, advocate for equal rights and express their passion.

As the centrepiece of the epic Sydney WorldPride Festival, all eyes will be focused on 12,500 marchers as over 200 floats grace Oxford Street for the first time since 2020.


Expect to see all of your Parade favourites, with First Nations, 78ers and the legendary rumble of the Dykes on Bikes leading the Parade as well as the quintessentially Australian Lifesavers With Pride and the many colourful, political, satirical and outlandish floats that has made the Parade famous over the last four decades.

Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)
Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)

This year’s Festival theme, “Gather, Dream, Amplify,” comes to life as bigger floats adorn the entirely revamped route. With lighting and firework shows elevating the spectacle of the Parade, from Hyde Park to Moore Park, including a new Parade route milestone Drivers Triangle located by the recently-announced viewing area Ruby Road.

Sydney Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger said that after two years of delivering the world-class parade through the pandemic, he couldn’t be more excited to see the community unite once more on Oxford Street.

“With over 200 floats representing every corner of our communities, it is the perfect celebration as the world descends on Sydney for the first WorldPride in the Southern Hemisphere and we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first Sydney Mardi Gras,” Kruger said.

Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)
Sydney Mardi Gras returns Oxford Street (Supplied)

Minister for Tourism and the Arts Ben Franklin said the NSW Government had long supported the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras as the event underscored its commitment to make NSW a welcoming destination for all visitors.

“The Mardi Gras is important to Australia’s cultural identity, empowering people to come together and celebrate diversity in a safe and inclusive way,” Franklin said.

“With the Parade returning to Oxford Street, thousands of participants and tens of thousands of supporters will line the streets celebrating NSW’s pride and inclusion, making this a major highlight of Sydney WorldPride 2023.”

Check out some highlight entries in this year’s Parade:

Animal Instincts
Animal Instincts’ float highlights the natural occurrence of same-sex relationships in the animal kingdom. They use matching black and white animal costumes to represent a stylish and wild world where diverse queerdom is natural and celebrated, as well as the ongoing threat of the climate crisis for the species’ natural habitats.

Architects with Pride
Architects with Pride is a group of LGBTQIA+ designers and architects who celebrate the contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals to the built environment and work to create safe, inclusive spaces. Their float design features layered sheer flag arches activated by lighting with marchers dressed in coordinated outfits carrying scaled-up versions of their tools of the trade.

Bi+ Pride
Bi+ Pride promotes visibility for multi-gender-attracted people through events like the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Their float design features bi and pan colour-themed DIY superhero costumes, flowy flags and upbeat music about self-love.

Chinese Pride Float
The Chinese Pride Float is a group that advocates for love, freedom and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community and serves as a cultural bridge between the East and the West through their participation in the Mardi Gras Parade. Their float design is inspired by the lotus flower, which represents purity and spiritual awakening in Chinese culture.

Deaf Rainbow NSW
Deaf Rainbow NSW represents the diversity of LGBTQIA+ communities and honours Deaf Gay and Lesbian history in NSW by incorporating the symbol of the Waratah. Their float will feature Deaf LGBTQIA+ elders, with the remaining participants clad in teal. Aiming to amplify the diverse voices within the community, including by collaborating with Deaf LGBTQIA+ First Nations people.

DIY Rainbow
DIY Rainbow’s float at the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade will feature 80 participants dressed in various Britney Spears looks and a flatbed truck decorated with drag artists Britneys, witha large Britney Spears with a moving yellow snake to commemorate the iconic ‘00s moment at the MTV Music Video Awards.

Drag Kings Unite
The Drag Kings Unite float at Sydney Mardi Gras Parade will feature a crown made of strip lighting, a DJ on an elevated platform and participants in royal colours to represent the Drag King community’s strength and desire for more representation in the LGBTQIA+ community. The float aims to showcase the diversity of Drag Kings and set a world record for the largest Drag King performance.

Forever Xanadu
Returning Judges Choice Award Winners, Forever Xanadu is a group of LGBTQIA+ friends and family members planning a glittering tribute to Olivia Newton John featuring an inflatable Lotus flower, neon shards and a float with LED strip lighting, inflatable unicorns and horses, as well as participants in disco drag on roller skates.

Free Gay and Happy
Free Gay and Happy is a social group that holds events around the country to promote mental health, safe partying and celebrating what makes you unique. Their theme for Parade 2023 is Mad Max-inspired with a float featuring flag carriers, a Mad Max-inspired truck with guitar players and dancers.

Selamat Datang Indonesian Community
Selamat Datang Indonesian Community is a group that supports the LGBTQIA+ communities in Indonesia. For the 2023 Mardi Gras Parade, the group will adopt the colours of the pride flag in Balinese style with marchers in Indonesian-inspired costumes and a large group of marchers in Balinese sarongs and udeng dancing to choreography.

Tamworth Pride Inc.
Tamworth Pride is a voluntary organization that supports LGBTQIA+ people, especially those who feel isolated, by creating social opportunities and promoting inclusivity under the rainbow flag. Their Mardi Gras float will feature a country theme of cowboys/cowgirls and the Golden Guitar with rainbows and colour galore.

Last Updated on Feb 4, 2023

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