The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is the world's most spectacular celebration of LGBTQI pride – now in its 43rd year. After undoubtedly the most challenging year in 2020, the 2021 theme ‘Rise’ understands the pain that many people have gone through and stands alongside them in support. We know and love the power of people and communities that rise together to support others to overcome adversity and inequality - It’s time we rise together again.
So how can you celebrate and embrace this year’s Mardi Gras theme? We’ve prepared this handy guide to celebrating with friends, whether your plans are to head out, or throw your very own rainbow themed soiree at home.
Get your GLAM on
Heading out to Mardi Gras festivities? Get glammed up by the team at Kamil's Hairdressing at Stockland Piccadilly for the ultimate Mardi Gras weekend style. From a new colour, cut or dramatic style, the Kamil's team have got you and your friends covered.
Maintain that Summer glow and reach your skin goals with specialised beauty treatments from Evolution Laser Clinic and Shashi Beauty Salon. If you love a good pamper session as much as we do, book yourself in today.
And speaking of glam.. did someone say bling? Find your very own special piece of glitz and glamour at Miada Jewellery. Head in to discover their range of gorgeous gems from south sea pearls, to opals and diamonds this Mardi Gras.
New outfit.. check!
Clueless International are the go to for sequins and sparkle with party dresses and statement outfits to dance in under the disco ball all night long.
Check out what’s in store here. Also be sure to continue the shopping spree at Fays, My Size and Ripe Maternity.
We love that new shoes feeling and what better excuse to go shopping than Mardi Gras? Midas Shoes have you covered with these little gems now in store.
Combine comfort and sparkle with these Gigi Pale Gold Leather Wedges – also available in silver. If these aren’t your style, check out Midas new arrivals here.
For the dapper gentleman, you can’t go wrong with a John Lennon or English Laundry statement shirt and Paul’s Menswear has the largest variety of prints from florals, to paisley and everything in-between. Check out their range here. Pair your new shirt with a suit from Stewarts Menswear and complete your party look.
Experience the best Yum Cha in town
Don’t just take it from us, Timeout Sydney has rated our very own Palace Chinese Restaurant as one of the 11 best restaurants for Yum Cha in Sydney. Our favourites include the salt & pepper squid, prawn dumplings, pork buns and their delicious mango pancakes. You can thank us later!
Head to the Parade
This year, the Mardi Gras Parade will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground under a Covid-safe event plan on Saturday 6 March. For the first time it will be a ticketed event due to current NSW Health guidelines. Check out the full parade and ticket details here.
Throw a Mardi Gras Parade viewing party
Broadcast live on SBS On Demand from 6pm AEDT on Saturday 6 March, with the parade at 7.30pm AEDT on SBS and NITV. Grab the rainbow skittles, a bottle of bubbles and settle for an evening in front of box with your nearest and dearest.. party in your PJs!
Hosted by Joel Creasey, Courtney Act, Narelda Jacobs and Zoë Coombs Marr, the broadcast will feature the most fabulous floats and costumes in the parade, plus a stellar lineup of glittering performances, as well as interviews with a list of soon-to-be announced celebrity guests. Get the full rundown here.
Make it a Tea Party
Hosting a small soiree at home? Head to The Tea Centre at Stockland Piccadilly to upgrade your viewing party to a high tea. Discover their range of specialty tea blends including Turkish delight, Japanese lime, matcha and more. Check out their beautiful teapots, cups, mugs and infusers to create that real ‘English tea house’ feel.
Don’t forget the sweets! We are loving the treats on offer at George’s Place Piccadilly. Think chocolate brownies, Nutella croissants, fruit Danish and freshly baked scones. Pick up your favourites in store or have their team cater your tea party.
Turn up the tea party with some karaoke! Play your favourite disco tracks at home and have a lip-syncing competition with friends. Extra points if you dress up in your very own Drag Queen costume. RuPaul has the ultimate playlist for lip-syncing on Spotify.
Laugh Out Proud
Australia's best and brightest LGBTQI+ comedians are back for 'Laugh Out Proud'. Featuring a stellar line-up of hilarious queer stand-up talent, Laugh Out Proud is Mardi Gras' comedy event of the year! Grab your tickets here.
Check out local Mardi Gras events
Mardi Gras isn’t just about the parade, there are plenty of local City of Sydney events happening around town. The festivities kick off on Friday 19 February and run until Sunday 7 March, featuring a fabulously diverse program of events including dazzling dance parties, top-tier theatre, music, world-class workshops and family focused fun. Check out the full Mardi Gras Festival Guide here.