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The Mardi Gras Parade Will Finally Return to Oxford Street in 2023 as Part of Sydney WorldPride

For the first time in three years, the Mardi Gras Parade is heading back home.
By Sarah Ward
June 24, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 24, 2022

You can take the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade away from Oxford Street and it's still a fabulous LGBTQIA+ celebration, as the 2021 and 2022 events at the Sydney Cricket Ground showed. But there's nothing like experiencing the parade as it takes over its usual home — which it'll do again, finally, in 2023.

The move to the SCG for the past two years was caused by the obvious: the pandemic, restrictions around it and distancing precautions. Last year, when it was announced that the 2022 parade would make the move again, Mardi Gras organisers said they were working towards taking to the streets as normal in 2023, which'll mark the parade's 45th anniversary. Block out your diaries now, because that's set to happen on Saturday, February 25.

The theme: gather, dream, amplify.

Even better — that planned return to Oxford Street will also fall under Sydney WorldPride, with the WorldPride festival being held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time ever.

Sydney WorldPride will span 17 days and 300-plus LGBTQIA+ festivities, with more than 500,000 people expected to participate. On the just-dropped initial bill, as well as the Mardi Gras parade: a huge opening concert hosted by Courtney Act and Casey Donovan, pride villages set up in sections of Crown Street and Riley Street, a giant weekend-long street party on Oxford Street, a Bondi beach party that'll turn the iconic sandy stretch into a club for 12,000 people, and a Blak & Deadly First Nations gala concert.

Plus, there'll be a dance party in The Domain for 10,000, which is being dubbed as the biggest LGBQTIA+ outdoor dance party in Australia; a pride march, sending 50,000 people across the Sydney Harbour Bridge; and huge queer show Rainbow Republic, again at The Domain, this time with six hours of live music, DJs and performances spanning both international and local acts.

The Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference is also on the bill, as is a six-night First Nations gathering space at Carriageworks — and Ultra Violet, an inclusive LGBTQIA+ women's party at Town Hall.

And, the list just keeps going. The Sissy Ball is on the program, too, and so is a Mardi Gras laneway shindig. Mardi Gras Fair Day and the Paradiso Pool Party will return, and there's a whole WorldPride sports lineup — covering eight days where you can either take part or spectate.

More events are still to be announced, and local and major headliners as well, so watch this space.

The 2023 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade will take place on Oxford Street on Saturday, February 25, 2023. For more information, head to the Mardi Gras website.

Sydney WorldPride will run from February 17–March 5, 2023. For more information, or for general ticket sales from 9am AEST on Friday, July 15 — or pre-sales from 9am on Monday, July 11 — head to the event's website.

Images: Jeffrey Feng Photography.

Published on June 24, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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