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Harbour city flies the flag for WorldPride extravaganza

Sydney WorldPride is kicking off as the harbour city prepares to welcome half a million revellers for its biggest event since the Olympics.

February 17, 2023
By Kat Wong
17 February 2023

When the rainbow flag goes up, glitter and sequins will rain down as Sydney WorldPride begins.

The NSW capital is marking the start of the LGBTQI extravaganza with a Progress Pride flag ceremony on Friday followed by 17 days of parties, performances, talks, comedy, art and sport.

The festivities will mark the harbour city’s biggest occasion since the 2000 Olympics and are expected to draw 500,000 revellers to 300 free and ticketed events.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore will be joined on Friday by leading members of the LGBTQI community to raise the flag on the steps of Sydney Town Hall.

“As one of the most LGBTQI-inclusive communities, not just in Australia but around the world, Sydney is the perfect home for a festival celebrating the rainbow community,” Ms Moore said.

During the ceremony she will present members of the community with a Key to the City in recognition of their efforts in advancing LGBTQI rights. 

Sydney WorldPride coincides with the 45th anniversary of the Mardi Gras Parade and fifth anniversary of the Australian marriage equality plebiscite. 

For the first time since the pandemic, the crown jewel of the queer calendar – the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade – will return to its spiritual home on Oxford Street. 

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett says everyone is invited.

“There are going to be parties. Lots and lots of them,” she said.

“The city will be abuzz and alive with colour and we couldn’t be more proud.”

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