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Mardi Gras Bourbon Street Awards

  • New Orleans , LA 70116
  • New Orleans , LA 70116

  • New Orleans , LA 70116
  • Dates: February 13, 2018 - February 13, 2018
  • Recurrence: Recurring every February 13th
  • Location: Bourbon Street French Quarter
  • Time: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

It has been called “the most famous drag-queen  contest in America” and it has been going on for more than four decades. What  started out as a one-time novelty to help promote a French Quarter hamburger  joint evolved into one of the major events of each Mardi Gras.

In the mid-1960s, Arthur Jacobs, former owner of the Clover Grill at the corner  of Bourbon and Dumaine streets, conceived of the idea of a Mardi Gras costume  contest to help lure people – especially tourists – to his restaurant. He only  envisioned holding the contest for one year, but the idea caught on and has  mushroomed in popularity over the years. Held in a variety of French Quarter locations, the contest is now staged  at the corner of Dumaine and St. Ann streets, in the heart of the city’s gay  and lesbian district.

Dozens of men in colorful, elaborate – often flamboyant – costumes compete for  top honors each year for what are now known as the Bourbon Street Awards.  Participants and spectators alike come to the contest from all over the world  and are rewarded with a flashy spectacle that often defies the imagination.  Participants compete in the following categories: Best Drag, Best  Leather, Best Group and Best of Show. First, Second and Third place prizes will  be awarded in each category. Celebrity hostesses (in drag, of course) serve as  emcees for the contest and awards ceremonies. The contest is held every year on  Mardi Gras Day, rain or shine. For a list of Mardi Gras dates through 2020, click here.