Mardi Gras parade fabulous, after party not so much

THE parade was fabulous - the after party, not so much.

Police have praised the tens of thousands of revellers who turned out to Sydney's annual Mardi Grass celebrations on Saturday.

Constant rain didn't deter crowds from lining Oxford St for hours in the lead up to the annual gay pride parade.

An extra 1000 police officers were sent to the party precinct.

Seven people were arrested throughout the course of the night but Assistant Commission Mark Murdoch said the crowd was "extremely well behaved" compared to previous years.

The contingent of NSW Police Force officers who took part in the march were cheered on as they crossed the rainbow strip.

Later in the evening though, the police dog squad had their hands and paws full as almost half of those searched at the official After Party celebrations in Moore Park, were busted with drugs.

Of the 200 party-goers searched during a four-hour drug detection operation, 96 were charged.

Police also arrested a man accused of stealing tickets to the event worth $10,000.

Surry Hills Local Area Command Duty Officer, Inspector Stephen Crews, said the results were disappointing.

"We make no apologies for doing what we can to stop people taking drugs into this type of event," he said.

"We want everyone who attends these parties to have a good time in a safe and secure environment."

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