Southern Decadence New Orleans Style
Story by Ed Salvato; images courtesy of Southern Decadence
Watching the Big Easy from afar, it seems that New Orleans can't catch a break. Five years ago there was Katrina. This summer, an offshore oil spill.
Though the city is still rebuilding some parts of the city from the hurricane, the sections most tourist visit were never really touched at all. And the oil has completely stopped flowing for well over a month and much of it has completely dissipated, according to government reports.
The residents of Crescent City wants you to forget about all this for the time being and focus on one thing: Southern Decadence! Held over Labor Day weekend every year (and now in its 36th year), "Gay Mardi Gras" has once again been attracting huge crowds numbering as many as 100,000 participants from all over the world in recent years.
Decadence runs from Wednesday, September 1 through Monday, September 6 (Labor Day). However festivities really start on the Sunday before Labor Day beginning at 2:00PM ET when the Grand Marshal leads marchers and their floats through the streets to the delight of throngs of spectators all along the route. Click here for a full rundown of events.
The official theme for 2010 is "Leather and Feathers" and the colors are black, powder blue, and purple. As usual, the epicenter of activities is in the French Quarter around the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets, where you'll find a number of bars and dance clubs pumping nonstop music throughout the duration of the event. Click here for a location street map.
Most clubs are open 24 hours a day but remember to pace yourself! Here are more tips from the folks who've been putting on this party for over 35 years. Here's the OutTraveler three-day guide to New Orleans.