Sydney, Australia is a dream destination for many LGBTQ travellers, thanks to its progressive outlook as well as its consistently pleasant weather, white sand beaches and vibrant local culture. The city’s annual gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade and festival is legendary in queer circles. And that makes the announcement that the 2023 WorldPride event will be held in Sydney all the more enjoyable. But you only have a few months left before the celebration begins, which means now is the perfect time to start planning. Here’s what you need to know. By Paul Heney
What is World Pride?
WorldPride, which promotes LGBTQ visibility through parades, festivals, and cultural activities, usually takes place every two to three years in different cities around the world. The first event took place in Rome in 2000, with more recent events in London, Toronto, Madrid, New York and Copenhagen-Malmö.
When is Sydney WorldPride?
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The Sydney event, which begins on February 17 and ends on March 5, will be the eighth edition of WorldPride, but the first to be held in the southern hemisphere. The team behind the event chose the date to coincide with the town’s Mardi Gras celebration, ensuring there will be plenty to do for every visitor.
What events to expect
Activities will include concerts, a First Nations celebration, dances, a human rights conference, plays, theatrical performances, pool parties, gala dinners, sporting events, beach parties and over 60 individual art experiences. Highlights include Live & Proud, the Sydney WorldPride opening concert hosted by Australian TV personality Courtney Act; Rainbow Republic, a massive 20,000-person dance party held in the heart of the city; and a historic Pride Parade that will take place on the Sydney Harbor Bridge. However, this is just a taste of the more than 300 events taking place across Sydney for WorldPride. And organizers think there will be around half a million visitors to celebrate it all.
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What else to do in Sydney – and beyond
Just because there are over 300 WorldPride events in Sydney doesn’t mean your experience has to stop there. Tour operators will work to extend the fun – both in Sydney and in surrounding destinations.
“For WorldPride, we host our annual Mardi Gras sunset cruise on beautiful Sydney Harbor the day before the WorldPride Opening Ceremony. We are working with Sydney Bridge Climbs for ‘Climbs with a Drag Queen’,” said Mario Paez, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Planetdwellers, a Sydney-based LGBTQ-owned and operated travel company “We also do our popular Day Tours or Gay Tours [where] people can be touring with a group and heading west to famous places like the Blue Mountains, north to the wineries and vineyards of Hunter Valley, or down the south coast to the beautiful farm and areas coastline surrounded by quaint towns.”
Paez’s company was recently named WorldPride’s exclusive Australian travel partner for the US market. And while he wants guests to see and do everything, Paez reiterates that there’s still plenty of magic within Sydney’s city limits.
“Sydney is a wonderful city that is so beautiful – the iconic bridge and the Opera House are just a match for the real thing,” he said. “Food and coffee culture has matured into something of its own making, and most visitors are simply blown away by it. Sydney is also very green and lush and quite walkable. It has plenty of public transportation options to quickly get from bar to bar and event to event. It is a safe and welcoming city; on a sunny Sydney day, you can’t beat it.
How to get tickets
Want to have fun? Individual tickets for many events are already on sale on sydneyworldpride.com, with event listings added regularly.
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This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of World Pride
Related: The best cities in the world to celebrate Pride, according to a new study