It all started as a low-key going away party in 1972, but Southern Decadence has turned into one of the biggest and best yearly events in New Orleans. From August 30 – September 4, the annual LGBTQ cultural festival brings in more than 125,000 participants from around the globe. Also known as “Gay Mardi Gras,” it’s a pinnacle of New Orleans celebrations where everyone shows off in gorgeous, high fashion costumes (and sometimes nothing at all).
Bars around town host a variety of performances, from drag shows to DJ contests. Costumes are highly encouraged, and it’s the perfect weekend to book a Gay Walking Tour or check out one of the many queer bars in the area. In 2017, it’ll be accompanied by outdoor concerts on St. Ann and Bourbon Streets.
Why Wait for Mardi Gras?
Say farewell to summer with a bang. Start at the Golden Lantern bar where the parade kicks off, winding through the French Quarter. The year’s Grand Marshal leads the party to the cheering and flashing of onlookers. Although the theme is kept a secret until right before Labor Day Weekend, prior themes have included “Leathers & Feathers” and “Jazz & Jezebels.”
This free event spreads throughout the French Quarter, offering a serious party atmosphere for those in town for the long weekend. What kind of costume can you whip up?