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Celebrate ‘Our Future’ at Sydney Mardi Gras 2024

Are you ready to sparkle and shine? Sydney Mardi Gras 2024 is happening, and everyone is included!

Sydney sparkles with extra fabulousness each February for Sydney Mardi Gras, the biggest annual Pride event in Oceania. For Sydney Mardi Gras 2024, the theme is ‘Our Future’, and everyone will be included in the celebrations.

A woman wearing an Autistic Pride shirt at Sydney Mardi Gras
Everyone is welcome and included at Sydney Mardi Gras 2024. Credit: Destination NSW

The most visible event is, of course, the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Hundreds of floats and thousands of participants party their way down Oxford Street, in a dazzling show of Pride. Accessibility at such events, with tens of thousands of attendees, can be tricky – which is why organisers designate an Accessible Viewing Area. The flat accessible site on Flinders Street has unobstructed views of the Parade, as well as dedicated volunteers and security, charging points for electric wheelchairs, a Quiet Room supported by Autism Spectrum Australia/Aspect, accessible bathrooms and a Changing Places amenity unit. Entry is available from 6:00PM on the day of the Parade (2 March 2024). Find out more.

Keep an eye out for the People With Disability Australia (PWDA) float in the Parade, featuring people with disabilities from the LGBTIQA+ community. Their message this year is that The Future Is NOW.

78ers on board a bus with a sign celebrating their participation in Mardi Gras
The iconic Sydney Mardi Gras parade has been an annual event since since 1978, and the original participants join each year. Credit: Destination NSW

If Parades aren’t your thing, or you’d rather celebrate Pride on another day, there are plenty of other accessible events throughout the Sydney Mardi Gras 2024 festival (16 February – 3 March).

Everyone can join in the fun at Fair Day on 18 February at Victoria Park. All day long and into the night, the community will come together and celebrate with performances on six stages, and over 200 food, retail and information stalls. Paths throughout the fair allow for step-free access, though the natural terrain of Victoria Park can be challenging to navigate (so bring some muscle power for assistance, if you can). There will also be Auslan interpreters available at the event for people who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing. Find out more.

Update: Shortly after this article was published, City of Sydney and Mardi Gras organisers announced that Fair Day would not be going ahead in 2024, due to the presence of asbestos detected in mulch used at the site. More information here.

Hand holding a Love Is Love rainbow-coloured fan above the crowd at the Mardi Gras Fair Day
Mardi Gras Fair Day is an exciting all-day celebration at Victoria Park. Credit: Ann-Marie Calilhanna

Shopping centre Broadway offers a range of Sydney Mardi Gras-themed events, including Drag Bingo, photo opps, competitions, and more. Accessibility is good throughout the centre, with lifts between levels and flat surfaces throughout. You can find accessible bathrooms on Levels 1, 2, and 3. There is also a complimentary wheelchair and mobility scooter available from Customer Services. Find out more.

A drag queen in a green sequinned dress against a background of sparkling disco balls
Try Drag Bingo at Broadway to celebrate Sydney Mardi Gras 2024.

Families with young kids can enjoy an entertaining Mardi Gras morning together at Rainbow Families Storytime events. Librarians put on a great show with singing and storytelling that highlights LGBTIQA+ love, family, community, and friendship. There’s a craft session afterwards, too, if you want a hands-on activity. Sessions at King’s Cross Library are wheelchair accessible, with flat widened entryways, accessible bathrooms on Level 2, and lifts between floors. Select sessions are also Auslan interpreted. Find out more.

The Mardi Gras Film Festival is a festival-within-a-festival, celebrating the best of queer cinema from around the world. There are screenings of films at multiple locations from 15 – 29 February, then films available on-demand online from 1 – 11 March. Accessibility varies between venues, but all offer seating for wheelchair users, and there are open caption, closed caption, and subtitled screenings throughout the festival. Organisers have also planned Relaxed Screenings for attendees with sensory sensitivities. Find out more.

Person presenting to a crowd seated in a large cinema
Attend a screening for the Mardi Gras Film Festival 2024. Credit: The Aperture Club

Happy Mardi Gras, everybody!

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