Sydney Mardi Gras 2023: Thousands gather to celebrate 45th anniversary of iconic parade

P.E. Nation founder Pip Edwards joined thousands of people taking to the streets in Sydney’s CBD for Mardi Gras on Saturday.

Revellers wrapped in rainbows and sparkling in sequins made a pilgrimage to the queer community’s spiritual home as the celebration returns to the streets after two years away.

Sydney’s Oxford Street is awash with glitter as around 300,000 partygoers celebrated the crown jewel of the WorldPride program, which Australia is hosting for the first time.

The event follows a blockbuster WorldPride opening concert in the Domain on Friday night, when Kylie Minogue headlined in a performance that included a surprise cameo from her sister Dannii.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran, who performed at Sydney Olympic Park on Friday draped himself in a rainbow flag, which has long been a symbol of LGBTQ+ rights, and wore a T-shirt with the Aboriginal flag. 

Pip, 42, looked gorgeous in an all black number, with a backless semisheer crop top and miniskirt.

Adding a suitable touch of camp, the businesswoman added knee high stiletto black leather boots and slicked her blonde tresses back into a bun.

Sydney Mardi Gras 2023: Thousands gather to celebrate 45th anniversary of iconic parade

P.E. Nation founder Pip Edwards joined thousands of people taking to the streets in Sydney’s CBD for Mardi Gras on Saturday

Pip, 42, looked gorgeous in an all black number, with a backless semisheer crop top and miniskirt

Crowds clutched rainbow flags and looked on in awe as performers walked through Oxford street on Saturday 

Two people, with matching green mohawks, share a kiss on the float 

One reveller in a green dress and gold heels with a shaved head has a lie down, while a friend in a nude outfit checks on them

One attenddee opted for a bikini in the colour of the trans flag with white boots and fishnet tights

One pair opted for tutus and tassels as they celebrated LGBTQ+ culture

Let me take a selfie! Two revelleres in silver and sparkles made sure they looked their best

Ready for a touch up! This pair helped with face paint before the parade

True blue! One pair opted for blue dress (left) while another went pink and sparkly for the night

Bikinis, heels, and slacks were worn by many revellers throughout the day 

Barbie girl! Ahead of the upcoming Margot Robbie movie, two goers opted for Barbie looks

Don’t forget to have fun! One attendee clutches a beer as they celebrate on the Harbour

Sqaut and post! One person got into a very awkward position to snap shots

Tudor chic: This pair opted for 16th century style skirts for the celebration

Golden and yellow outfits added a touch of glam for many revellers 

Good as gold! Some revellers looked angelic in sparkling outfits 

One reveller opted for devil horns while cheekily writing ‘naked’ across their chest 

Pyjamas and bunny ears were the choice for one reveller while another opted for a ‘weirdo’ T-shirt

Dancers were dressed in festival gear for the LGBTQ+ celebration

Pride crowds gathered in Sydney to celebrate Mardi Gras on Saturday night

Pacing themselves! Some revellers made sure to get a seat – and fan themselves before the celebrations

Sydneysiders descended on Oxford Street in bikinis, underwear and bondage gear to celebrate Mardi Gras

Doc Martens, fishnet tights and mini-skirts were seen among many of the revellers 

Some paradegoers opted for full carnival gear as they stunned Sydney’s CBD

This pair dressed as anime characters Sailor Moon and Sailor Mecury – with a saucy twist – for the fun day out

Thousands of people are beginning to gather in Sydney’s CBD to take to the streets and celebrate Mardi Gras. Two perfromers are pictured

Australia is hosting WorldPride for the first time in history, with revellers travelling from all over the world for the celebration. Revellers are seen in glitter and topless

Purring in purple! One paradegoer opted for a colourful look with black and purple bondage gear – as well as a mask and ears

Beauty Queens were also part of the parade with Miss Rainbow Princess (left) and Ms International Queer in attendance 

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade will return to its heritage-listed route after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to relocate to the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2021 and 2022. One reveller opted for flamboyant ‘hello I’m gay’ shorts

Ed Sheeran, who performed at Sydney Olympic Park on Friday draped himself in a rainbow flag, which has long been a symbol of LGBTQ+ rights, and wore a T-shirt with the Aboriginal flag

The British Shape of You singer waved the Pride flag onstage to the delight of thousands of fans

The British pop sensations T-shirt had ‘SYDNEY’ emblazoned on the back in the colours of the rainbow flag

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade will return to its heritage-listed route after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to relocate to the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2021 and 2022.

More than 200 floats and 12,500 parade participants will dance through 1.7 kilometres of rainbow-lined streets in a celebration of queer identity, community and equality.

Anthony Albanese will become the first sitting prime minister to march in the parade, which he initially joined in 1983 – five years after it began as a protest for gay rights.

‘I won’t try and compete in the fashion stakes,’ he said on Saturday.

‘Pride is something that we should be proud of, that Australia is moving towards a more and more equal community where everyone is respected, no matter who they love.’

Many went for very daring outfits with black and white lace and pearls

Some went for anime looks with high school inspired dresses

Temporary tattoos, body paint and even mermaid tails were popular choices throughout the day

Some revellers went for fairy inspired looks with wings and elf ears

Purple bikinis tops and green tails – much like Ariel the Little Mermaid – were seen on many marchers

Smart revellers opted for fans to keep cool 

BDSM-inspired outfits were ten-a-penny with many opting for latex and chains

Tassels and skin were on show for many of the partygoers as they strutted their stuff

Nautical but nice! Revellers fittingly posed in the harbour in sailor-themed gear 

One pair opted for head-to-toe matching Versace, complete with baroque shorts and a branded flat cap

Bright green makes you seen! One reveller ensured all eyes were on them in neon

Sparkles and high heels were the statement look for this reveller who looked gorgeous with sparkingly earrings while another opted for a rainbow dress

‘You are loved’ signs complete with rainbows were put up around Sydney to celebrate

Crowds looked delighted as they held LGBTQ and Trans pride flags in the crowds

Many fans wore masks as they watched on the parade

One apartment hung Palestine and Aboriginal flags up – as well as a banner of the Progress flag – in delight

One performer opted for full drag with extra aboriginal colours to celebrate Australia pride 

Honey Birdette celebreated with saucy pictures in red leather and lingerie

Legs for days! Performers opted for huge heels and latex for celebrations 

Perfection in pink! Some revellers showed off very enviable bodies in scanily-clad gear

Silver crowns and tailfeathers were popular in the Honey Birdette tent

One partygoer looked gorgeous in rainbow gear as they opted for a bikini and mini skirt 

Out of this world! One person dressed as Ariel the Little Mermaid – while riding a unicycle 

The pair opted for a Jean Paul Gautier-esq look as the paid tribute to 80s-Madonna style ‘Cone boob’ outfit

Cowboy carnival! One reveller opted for cow print slacks and went topless for the celebrations

A yellow tank top as a hit for this reveller who added sparkling necklace

One reveller opted for glitter and a rainbow headband

Pink, purple, red and blue were popular colours among revellers

Rainbows appeared to be the theme of the day with parade goers opting for feather boas and cowboy hats

Paradise is calling! Some appeared to be dressed as if they were from the garden of Eden in green leaves and gold masks

A sea of colour could be seen on Sydney’s streets as partygoers opted for bright colours

Blue-tiful – one reveller opted for a blue jumpsuit and nude heels for the celebrations 

Revellers hung up Pride and Progress flags as they celebrated the LGBTQ+ festival

Ready to rock! One group wore tutus and crop tops as they gathered in the park before the parade

Short shorts and headdresses appeared to be the look of the day as many celebrated the festival in style

Parade goers gathered outside the Stonewall hotel, one of Sydney’s top LGBTQ+ venues. It is named for New York’s 1969 Stonewall rebellion which marked the start of today’s Pride marches 

Bit of all white! One reveller opted for a pearl necklace, underwear and thigh high boots

More than 200 floats and 12,500 parade participants will dance through 1.7 kilometres of rainbow-lined streets in a celebration of queer identity, community and equality. One performer is seen

Revellers carried the Aboriginal flag (left)  while one partygoer opted for an all black outfit with knee high boots and short shorts (right)

Mr Albanese said when he first marched in the parade 40 years ago people were campaigning for their basic rights and there had been a long journey of reform since that era.

Transgender activist Kalypso Finbar said the parade’s return had come with a renewed sense of pride.

‘It’s almost like a resurrection,’ she said.

‘There’s a different energy in the air this year because there’s more accessibility because of that Oxford Street factor.’

For Mardi Gras veterans such as Dykes on Bikes president Emily Saunders, it feels like a homecoming.

An Ariel artist! One performer dressed as a mermaid while showing off some extreme skill riding a a unicycle 

These parade goers went all out in glitter, feathers and fans

One reveller looked gorgeous in pink and nude colours with feathers 

One attendee wrapped their hair up in a rainbow colours as they partied the day away 

Perfection in pink! Glitter was the theme of the day as revellers covered themselves

Another attendee opted for LOVE sunglasses and cheekily placed hearts for the LGBTQ+ celebrations

Party time! Another attendee opted for white sneakers and a pink bra while opted when for practical jumpsuits

Keeping it practical for Sydney’s unpredictable weather, one reveller opted for a very sensible rainbow umbrella hat 

The 2023 celebration marks 45 years since the first parade, which ended in dozens of people being arrested and charged

One person dressed as an ancient Egyptian as they strolled through Sydney’s CBD ahead of the parade 

Many opted for traditional and colourful head dresses while celebrating 

Parade goers prepare ahead of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade as part of Sydney WorldPride

A bevvy of beauty queens wore their tiaras and heels as they strutted down Oxford Street

Wear your heart of your… back! One reveller painted a blue heart on themselves for the celebrations

‘It’s our natural home, we ride motorcycles, for us, being on the street is where we belong,’ she told AAP.

The 2023 celebration marks 45 years since the first parade, which ended in dozens of people being arrested and charged.

Lance Dow, who was part of the 1978 march, says he feels ‘excited but odd’ to still be attending almost five decades later.

‘Being a ’78er, it’s incredible how far we’ve come since that night,’ he told AAP.

Mr Dow said the hundred or so marchers didn’t have a clear idea about what they were doing back then.

‘We didn’t know much about pride in those days, it was all camp. But now I feel a lot of pride.’

Hours before the start of the parade, LGBTQ+ people and allies gathered in central Sydney to celebrate 

Parade goers are seen preparing ahead of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade and celebrating World Pride

One parade goers opted for a crystal headpiece as they looked gorgeous before the crowds 

Kicking back with pals! One group opted for pink and red for the parade

Kitty’s got claws! Two revellers put on their best feline fancy for the party

In recognition of their historical significance, Dykes on Bikes and their gay counterparts will lead the parade alongside a First Nations float and one dedicated to the ’78ers.

This year’s event will also feature some relative newcomers such as Haka for Life, an organisation that raises awareness of men’s mental health issues.

CEO of Haka for Life Leon Ruri says their float, which will come alive with didgeridoos, corroboree and haka, will be one of the loudest of the night.

‘We’re using the medicine of culture,’ he told AAP.

‘We’ve got so many people with diverse backgrounds and people recovering from serious addictions and all those sorts of things. So to have them here on this line and expressing themselves with a smile. We’re winning.’

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade begins at 6pm AEDT on Saturday.

Glittered and ready to go! One reveller with rainbow lashes and crystals on their face is seen touching up their make-up

One group had white headdresses with fruits attached for the parade

Leather suits and bondage gear was also a popular choice among parade goers

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11791887/Sydney-Mardi-Gras-2023-Thousands-gather-celebrate-45th-anniversary-iconic-parade.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Sydney Mardi Gras 2023: Thousands gather to celebrate 45th anniversary of iconic parade

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