Southern Decadence Gay Party in New Orleans Labor Day


Southern Decadence started thirty-seven 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.  One of the largest annual celebrations in New Orleans, it 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 100,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants, and an economic impact estimated to be in excess of $100 million,  the city has recognized its importance with an Official Proclamation to welcome the event.

It was so popular, that for a while many hotels would TRIPLE their normal rate, require a 5 night minimum stay, and make your PRE-PAY the entire amount due, with no refunds! And  every hotel, always sold out. Since the hurricane and the re-birth or New Orleans,  times have changed a bit. And it is currently affordable and some hotels were even offering “deals” as of last week. So it’s a good time to go have fun!

The city’s wildest neighborhood gets even crazier as the French Quarter is packed for the entire event; however, the big day is Sunday. That’s when the Grand Marshal leads the annual parade through the streets beginning at 2 p.m.  The 2008 Grand Marshals are Paloma and Tittie Toulouse.  The official theme for 2008 is “Decadence Does Disco” and the colors are silver, black and white. There is usually not a parade route. The Grand Marshal makes it up as they go along!

The corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets is generally considered to be the epicenter of Gay New 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 The Parade dance club, which is home to the hottest dancers in town.  Across the street is Hit Parade Gift and Clothing store.  Most of the city’s main gay attractions are located within a few blocks of this intersection.

Chi Chi LaRue, the “Diva of Decadence,” has been the hostess for the past ten years, and returns for 2008 for her 11th anniversary.  Performance artist Adam Killian coordinates the incredible stage shows.  Cult-comedienne Shirley Q. Liquor returns for 2008 performing to sold-out crowds.  The legendary Lady Bunny brings her outrageous show to The Bourbon Pub stage on Friday evening.

The Bourbon Street Extravaganza returns with a free outdoor concert on Saturday afternoon at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets featuring recording artists Deborah Cox, Kimberley Locke, Jeanie Tracy and  Thea Austin.


Southern Decadance Online