The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival has released its 2017 guide. Here's a look at some of the LGBTI event highlights.
Stephanie Marie Anderson

2 Dec 2016 - 4:00 PM  UPDATED 2 Dec 2016 - 4:00 PM

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras returns in 2017 once again, with a jam-packed festival of events in the lead-up to the famous parade on March 4. Released today, the program theme is 'Creating Equality', which will celebrate the progress the community has made so far, and and highlight areas where the LGBTQIA+ community is fighting for equality, such as same-sex marriage.

Aside from the parade and many parties set to take place around the city, events set to return next year include the Mardi Gras Film Festival, Fair Day, and forum event Queer Thinking

Shining a spotlight on the diversity of the LGBT+ community at Mardi Gras this year will be a selection of photographs from the My People My Tribe photography project. The photos feature on Mardi Gras poster, as well as the program cover. You can see some of the images from the ongoing project below:

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You'll need to keep February 28th to March 3rd free if you don't want to miss any of the Mardi Gras Comedy Festival, which is set to having you gasping for air through the laughs. Hosted by Em Rusciano and Bob Downe, the festival will bring Ireland's queen Panti Bliss down under, as well as America's most famous Tupperware Lady herself, Dixie Longate. Also in the ~can't miss~ category is Bridget Everett - who's been called "the most exciting performer in New York City" - as well as everyone's favourite Aussies, Joel Creasey and Rhys Nicholson.

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Since this is all taking place during the height of summer, chances are you'll want to take some time to cool down. For that, there's the annual Pool Party at the Ivy, where you can sip deluxe AF cocktails while enjoying some casual luxury in a private cabana. Even the change rooms have their own disco, so you won't miss a single minute of fun.

Another way to cool down, of course, is to head to the cinema, with the Mardi Gras Film Festival running from February 15th to March 2nd. Featuring great Aussie flicks as well as highlights from film festivals around the world, the event will include UK gay football drama The Pass, slow-burning Aussie thriller Bad Girl, and Brazilian feature Don't Call Me Son, among others.

Meanwhile, over in Redfern at 107 Projects will be the Koori Gras Exhibition, which will feature a chronology of First People's participation in the Mardi Gras Parade. Compiled by Tim Bishop, the exhibition showcases gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Sista girl, brothaboy, intersex and queer First People's, as well as their partners and families.

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For a full list of events and dates, visit