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Thousands attend LGBTQ Mardi Gras 2020 in Sydney

The streets of Sydney have been full of colour this weekend as thousands from around the world attended the 42nd annual Mardi Gras.

It's estimated 300,000 people turned out to watch the parade with LGBTQ members of the emergency services marching alongside.

The 'Dykes On Bikes' kicked off the parade with more than 150 bikes storming their way down Oxford street.

Meanwhile the '78ers' who marched in Sydney's first ever Mardi Gras 42 years ago received a warm welcome and marked an historic moment remembering the foundations of the event.

Mardi Gras dates back to 1978 when as a night-time celebration following a morning protest march and commemoration of the Stonewall riots organised by the Gay Solidarity Group, more than 500 people gathered in Oxford Street.

The gathering called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in employment and housing, an end to police harassment, along with the repeal of anti-gay laws.

Being gay was actual a crime in New South Wales up until 1984 so many lost their jobs and faced prosecution for taking part.

Many have pointed out it the 2020 event has been a welcome celebration of life after the horror of the recent bushfires in Australia.

Fire and Rescue NSW Assistant Commissioner Paul McGuigan said it was a "wonderful" event to attend after a busy year and it meant a lot that the crowd was right behind them.

But the event wasn't without controversy as protesters wearing masks of Prime Minister Scott Morrison attempted to block the Liberal Party float.

Police intervened when others joined the attempt and tried to hijack the float wearing jumpsuits with the words 'Department of Homo Affairs' on the back.

Non-binary singer Sam Smith made a brief appearance to march in the parade to their song 'Tonight', with other celebrities including Dua Lipa also taking part.

Check out the Mardi Gras 2020 Gallery (Credit: Kevin Nguyen ABC News)...

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