The 45th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade and festival, that symbolizes inclusivity, acceptance, and the LGBTIQ+ community, is celebrated in all its glory.
The parade that kicked off on Saturday had tens of thousands of people watching as more than 12,000 participants sailed down Oxford Street.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made history by joining the parade. He is the first sitting prime minister to join the parade, which celebrates and continues to push for equality for the community. He has been marching in Mardi Gras since the 1980s.
History of the celebration date backs to 1978, when a small group of protestors formed to contribute to the international Gay Celebrations and the resulting police violence and arrests created a defining night in not only Sydney’s LGBTQ community, which now is referred as first Mardi Gras.
That first Mardi Gras march was a major civil rights milestone beyond the gay community. Up to 3,000 people marched in an incident-free parade in 1979.
With each passing year, the face of the modern Mardi Gras we know today- a colourful and dazzling night of pride, celebration, and self-expression- took shape.
The event began to enjoy extensive media coverage and large numbers of interstate and international travelers started flying in for the event as well.