Tens of thousands have gathered in Sydney’s famous Oxford Street to celebrate the 41st Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
Almost 200 floats are making their way down the iconic strip on Saturday night, which commenced at 7pm, AEDT.
About 12,500 are expected to take part in the parade with almost 300,000 spectators gathered on the sidelines to watch.
Natarsha Kallios reports from the Sydney Mardi Gras parade
Among the many people marching will be a group dressed as glittering fruit who understand as much as anyone the theme of this year’s Mardi Gras.
Dressed as strawberries, pineapples and grapes, the Fruits From Brazil float has embraced the theme for 2019 – fearless.
The theme acknowledges the way LGBTQI people around the world courageously express who they are.
Sydney Mardi Gras 2019: Tourists join the celebration
Nina Silva is marching with almost 60 others from Fruits From Brazil, a not-for-profit which offers support and assistance to LGBTQI Brazilians in Australia.
Ms Silva said Brazil feels less safe for the LGBTQI community following the election of right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro.
“I know we are far away from Brazil now but just being Brazilian and being so out, and putting our faces out there, that’s how we relate to fearless,” Ms Silva told AAP.
Sydney Mardi Gras 2019 embraces fearless theme
More than 1000 police officers will keep a close eye on revellers around the CBD and Sydney’s suburban areas.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell acknowledged some people may take drugs and stressed the importance of looking after friends.
For this year’s 41st anniversary festival the state government has relaxed its controversial lockout laws for the night.