So much will be different about Mardi Gras this year, but the annual Oxtravaganza will still be held on Oxford Street for the fifth consecutive year.

Although the official Mardi Gras parade has relocated for 2021, Oxford St still has plans to continue the party, with local businesses getting into festivities to promote the Mardi Gras celebration.

Celebrating both Oxford St and the Pink Mile, Oxtravaganza will promote over 100 local businesses as they offer retail promotions such as food and drink deals. Arts and culture will also be on display through live music, viewing parties, exclusive performances, outdoor entertainment and art works.

Chair of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership Stephan Gyory says: “After the parade at the SCG, Oxford St will be the destination that many people will gravitate towards.” Due to the size constraints of the SCG, and change of routine, businesses along the Oxford St strip and surrounding areas will host live viewing parties and trade late into the evening.

Viewing parties are to be held in the bars as clubs, as well as retail outlets, such as clothing and record stores. Organisers also expect that many residents will host viewing parties, creating a mass celebration throughout the area.

“We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for the two weeks of Mardi Gras and with the recent lifting of the lock out laws and the relaxation of outdoor dining rules, Oxford St is really getting its mojo back” says Gyory.

Live performers are expected to roam the streets, and on Saturday the 27th of February, Oxtravaganza will host a ‘shop ‘til you drop’ day, extending as far as South Dowling, Bourke and Stanley Streets.

People are encouraged to shop locally for their Mardi Gras outfit, and are sure to find something in the sea of vintage stores, drag queen costume hire, leather, glitter and sequins.

Stephan Gyory says, “This area has always had a history of being a place to come to, have a good time, and feel welcome, it’s been a stomping ground for oddballs, queers, bohemians, and artists, whose influences delightfully combined to form a unique cultural hub.”

Organisers are calling for expression of interests from performers, local businesses and potential sponsors to get involved in the upcoming Oxtravaganza celebrations.

“Oxford Street is an unconventional and non-judgmental space where anything goes, and everyone is welcome” adds Gyory.

Oxtravaganza will run from February 19 to March 7. The Festival presents an excellent way to extend Mardi Gras, celebrating inclusivity, individuality and community, all while supporting local businesses.