Sydney Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, Sydney, NSW. © Tourism Australia

Sydney Mardi Gras

Sydney, New south Wales
March

The Sydney Mardi Gras is the world’s premier gay and lesbian cultural festival, spanning two weeks in February and March. It is a colourful and outrageous demonstration of pride and diversity. During the Grand Parade, thousands of people make their way down Oxford Street through Sydney’s Darlinghurst on colourful floats, with huge crowds cheering on in support. The fun doesn't end with the parade, with tens of thousands of party-goers dancing till dawn at the official Mardi Gras Party. The Fair Day launch offers a relaxed day out for friends and family, complete with a giant picnic and outdoor entertainment.

Sydney’s Mardi Gras is the world’s premier gay and lesbian cultural festival, spanning two weeks in February and March every year. Since it began in 1978, Sydney Mardi Gras has captured the imagination of people from around the world and now regularly attracts audiences of more than half a million people.

It has become a landmark gay pride event, whose aim is to increase the visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and their culture.

Around 100 cultural, sporting and social events are held at venues across the city including the world-famous Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour. Fair Day opens the party with an enormous community picnic and outdoor entertainment in the park in Broadway’s Victoria Park.

A major highlight is the world-famous Mardi Gras Parade down Oxford Street in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, complete with around 10,000 participants, flamboyant floats and colourful costumes. First-time visitors, repeat visitors, parade participants, supporters and the simply curious are inevitably caught up in the whirlwind of feathers and glitter, parody and satire, pride and politics that makes the parade and festival such a unique and welcoming event. The warm days of Sydney’s late summer combined with the vibrant two-week Mardi Gras festival has proved a winning combination for international visitors over the years.

The fun doesn't end with the parade, with tens of thousands of party-goers dancing till dawn at the official Mardi Gras Party.

The program also includes the Mardi Gras Film Festival, art shows, music, theatre and performances by international entertainers. The festival also focuses Sydney's natural beauty and attractions with events staged from Taronga Zoo to Manly and Bondi Beach to Luna Park, covering many of Sydney’s famous beaches and inner-city precincts.

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