What began as a simple going-away party in 1972 has evolved into one of New Orleans’ premier annual events: Southern Decadence. Held annually over Labor Day weekend, this celebration of LGBT culture has begun attracts over 125,000 participants from all over the world.
Nicknamed the "Gay Mardi Gras," Southern Decadence is one of those quintessential New Orleans occasions in which participants get to strut their stuff in elaborate costumes and high fashion or barely anything at all! Everyone gets in on the action and all the bars will have their own drag shows, contests, DJs, music and events.Grab a costume, wander around the French Quarter, take a Gay Walking Tour, and visit one of the city's gay bars. Some years also include an outdoor concert near Bourbon and St. Ann streets.
Starting at the Golden Lantern bar, the Grand Marshal leads the marchers and their floats through French Quarter streets to the delight of appreciative crowds all along the parade route. Former Grand Marshals have included Bianca Del Rio, Lisa Beaumann, and Tami Tarmac. Weekend themes have included "Decadence Does Disco", "Leather & Feathers", and "Jazz & Jezebels".