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Sydney Sparkles For Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras

Around 250,000 packed Sydney's Oxford Street for the event.

05/03/2017 8:42 AM AEDT | Updated 05/03/2017 9:48 AM AEDT
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Sydney really turned it on for Mardi Gras on Saturday night.

Sydneysiders ignored the overcast conditions on Saturday night to dazzle in the 39th annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Organisers said about 250,000 people came out to watch the iconic parade down Sydney's Oxford Street that was lit up in rainbow colours for the occasion.

Almost 200 floats and thousands of participants took part in the colourful celebration of sexual diversity that started as a protest march in the 1970s.

This year's theme was creating equality and among the party some delivered a political message, calling for marriage equality.

Drag divas serving up Mardi Gras Party realness! 💅🏼

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Out of the bars, into the streets! Great pic by @matthewrwade! #sydneymardigras

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Police said they were pleased with overall crowd behaviour, despite arrests for assault, malicious damage, drug possession, and refusing to comply with police directions.

Police arrested 15 people over alleged drug possession, while three were charged for allegedly supplying illicit drugs and six were issued cannabis cautions.

About 30 people were taken to hospital for a range of medical incidents of which many were drug and alcohol related.

"There was a great deal of collaboration between stakeholders with a shared focus on delivering a safe and fun Mardi Gras for 2017, and I'm pleased to report this was achieved with few exceptions," Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Tony Crandell said.

"Wet weather didn't dampen anyone's spirits with thousands of people attending to show their support for the event, the majority of whom were on their best behaviour."

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