February 19, 2015
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started forty-four years ago as a simple going-away party.
As a top gay Labor Day Weekend destination, it has evolved into one of
our world's major annual
events. It is one of the largest annual celebrations and festivals in New Orleans,
and has become known as the "Gay Mardi Gras." People begin to
arrive on the Wednesday before Labor Day, and generally don't even
think about stopping or going home until the following Tuesday.
With over 160,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants
and an economic impact
estimated to be in excess of $190
million, the city
has recognized the festival's importance with
Official Event Proclamations.
As Liberace once said, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful."
Orleans' wildest neighborhood gets even crazier as the French Quarter is packed for the entire event; however, the big day is
That's when the
Grand Marshals lead the annual walking parade through the streets
beginning at 2 p.m.
The 2014 Grand Marshals were Aubrey Synclaire, Chad Boutte
and Reba Douglas. 2014's theme was "UNDER THE BIG TOP
- Welcome to the Gayest Show on Earth" and the official colors
were canary yellow, dark turquoise blue and pearl white. The
official song was "Circus WORKus" (Britney Spears vs. DJ Robbie Martin ...
based on Britney Spears'
"Work Bitch"), remixed by
DJ Robbie Martin.
The designated charity for 2014 was PFLAG New Orleans.
The corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets is
generally considered to be the epicenter of
Orleans, and even more so during the Southern Decadence
festival weekend. At that
intersection is the largest gay nightclub,
The Bourbon Pub
video bar and
club, which is home to the hottest dancers in town.
Also located here is the Southern Decadence Official Welcome
Center, inside of Hit Parade Gift and Clothing. And most of the city's
gay attractions are within a few blocks.
Check out our French Quarter Map.
street party activities take place in the immediate area of
the French Quarter, and the dance parties are in the clubs.
Since the gay bars never
close, there is something happening around the clock. Some of
the nation's best DJs work the crowds into a frenzy.
The 2014 DJ lineup included DJ/Producer Kidd Madonny from
Miami (in his very first New Orleans appearance), Mike Bryant,
Derek Monteiro, Brendan Thompson, Chris Allen, Sean Michael,
and Billy Francesca.
The hosts for the weekend were "The Bearded Lady" Billy
and "The Bad Ass Bitch" Rhea Litré.
And The Bourbon Street Extravaganza, the FREE outdoor
concert at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets,
returned for its tenth anniversary show on Saturday,
featuring headliners Inaya Day and Jeanie Tracy.
No wonder the weekend is often
referred to as
SOUTHERN DECADENCE DATES
(always Labor Day Weekend)
2012: August 29 through September 3
2013: August 28 through September 2
2014: August 27 through September 1
2015: September 2 through September 7
2016: August 31 through September 5
2017: August 30 through September 4
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