Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras returns to Oxford Street

Mardi Gras

Sydney’s iconic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade returned to its traditional home on Oxford Street last night.  Organisers say the successful event united individuals from the LGBTQIA+ communities to showcase their pride, advocate for equal rights and express their passion.

As the centerpiece of the epic Sydney WorldPride Festival, the parade was a spectacular sight as over 12,500 marchers and 208 floats took to the streets. The parade was led by First Nations, 78ers and the Dykes on Bikes, along with a range of colorful, political, satirical and imaginative floats that have made the Parade famous around the globe.

This year’s Festival theme, ‘Gather, Dream, Amplify’, came to life as bigger floats adorned the entirely revamped route. With lighting and firework displays enhancing the spectacle of the Parade, the new route allowed more spectators to take in the event.

Sydney Mardi Gras CEO, Albert Kruger, said after holding the event at the Sydney MCG last year, it was great to return to Oxford Street.

“After delivering the world-class Parade through the Pandemic over the past two years, we are thrilled to see the community unite once more on Oxford Street. With over 200 floats representing all corners of our communities, this 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.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and the Arts Ben Franklin said the NSW Government’s support of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras shows its commitment to make NSW a welcoming destination for all visitors.

“We are immensely proud to be hosting the largest Pride event in the world. Mardi Gras is the biggest jewel in the WorldPride crown and was enjoyed by thousands on the streets and millions across the world,” Franklin said.

“The Mardi Gras Parade is about celebrating diversity, inclusion and showcasing Sydney on the world stage. It was fantastic to see the Pride community coming together to celebrate as one.”

Mardi Gras

Anthony Albanese has become the first sitting Prime Minister to march in Mardi Gras parade.

Speaking to the ABC during the parade’s official broadcast the Prime Minister said he felt it was “unfortunate” that he was the first.

“It’s unfortunate that I am the first, but this is a celebration of modern Australia, we’re a diverse and inclusive Australia and that’s a good thing,” the PM said.

“People want to see that their government is inclusive and represents everyone, no matter who they love, no matter what their identity, no matter where they live.

“We need to be a country that respects everyone for who they are.”

Albanese marched alongside partner Jodie Haydon, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh and Assistant Defence Minister Matt Thistlethwaite were also part of the Labor contingent.

Mardi Gras

First Nations people were prominently featured in the parade opening the event after the traditional ride down the route by the Dykes on Bikes. In a move to be more inclusive they were also joined by Boys on Bikes too.

A large serpent that featured in the First Nations contingent was one of the eye-catching floats in the parade.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore attended riding in the back of a convertible with fellow independent politician Alex Greenwich.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence also made a colour display marching in their Pride flag coloured robes. Mother Gretta from the Abbey of the Black Swan looked very fetching green.

The event drew huge crows with Mardi Gras official issuing a notice earlier in the day that Oxford Street was full and could take no more spectators.

Pop dup The Veronicas appeared on the float of official sponsor American Express singing their hit song Untoched.


ABC Chair Ita Butrose rode along with the broadcaster’s queer employees. The ABC took over as the official broadcaster for the event this year. For many years SBS had been showcasing Mardi Gras.

TV host Andy Cohen and Queer Eye original Carson Kresley were spotted taking in the action in the VIP area.

OIP Staff, images Rocket K photography provided by World Pride.

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