Sydney Mardi Gras Parade Returns To Oxford Street/Route Added To NSW Heritage Register

The world-renowned Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade returns home to Oxford Street in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the first Mardi Gras march.

Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

This year the Parade also represents a centrepiece for Sydney WorldPride – so all eyes will be focused on 12,500 marchers as more than 200 floats grace Oxford Street, for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a move to Sydney Cricket Ground for 2021/2022.

Audiences can expect to see all of their favourites as First Nations, 78ers and the Dykes On Bikes lead the Parade as well as the quintessentially Australian Lifesavers With Pride and the many colourful, political, satirical and outlandish floats, all of which have made the Parade so famous and iconic across the last four decades.

The 2023 theme is ‘Gather, Dream, Amplify’.

“After two years delivering the world-class Parade through the Pandemic we couldn’t be more excited to see the community unite once more on Oxford Street,” Sydney Mardi Gras CEO Albert Kruger says. “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.”

ann marie calilhanna ParadeShot
Image © Ann-Marie Calilhanna

In more exciting news for Mardi Gras and the city as a whole, the key city roads which have forged the path of the Parade are finally being recognised for their significance, by the NSW Government. NSW Minister Fore Heritage James Griffin has added the Parade’s route to the NSW State Heritage register for the 45-year celebrations.

“Adding the Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade route to our State Heritage Register acknowledges the pivotal role it has had in shaping the social history of New South Wales, and celebrates how after years of community activism it contributed to better acceptance, understanding and equality for LGBTIQA+ communities,” James Griffin says.

“This well-trodden 2.4 kilometre stretch has paved the way for a more inclusive Sydney since 1978, making our Mardi Gras the longest-running continuous LGBTIQA+ rights march in the world.”

The 2023 Mardi Gras Parade takes place on 25 February.