Sydney Mardi Gras Parade 2016: Everything you need to know before the fabulous annual parade kicks off

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has kicked off, with a colourful and glittery parade set to wrap up the festival tonight.

The festival began almost two weeks ago with a dazzling array of events from theatre performances to talks and forums, all leading up to the famous parade tonight which will feature 175 floats and almost 230 kilograms of glitter.

More than 200,000 revellers are expected to part take or watch the annual parade as it travels along the southern end of Hyde Park along Oxford Street, Flinders Street in Surry Hills and to Moore Park.

NSW Police will roll out Operation Hampstead tonight which will see hundreds of additional police working across the Sydney CBD for the duration of the parade to ensure that the event is safe and enjoyable.

‘A major focus for police tomorrow night will be crowd management. Traffic and transport strategies are in place to ensure the safe movement of large crowds of people to, from and around the parade footprint,’ NSW Corporate Spokesperson on Sexuality and Gender Diversity for Police, Superintendent Tony Crandell said in a media release.

But those attending or watching the parade are advised to catch public transport instead of driving, and to make extra travel time as large crowds are expected.

Make sure to plan ahead using the NSW Transport trip planner. The parade starts at 7.45pm and will finish at 11pm.

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