The economy of New Orleans recently took a one-two punch with the global pandemic and Hurricane Ida, but neither event was able to dampen the spirit or the needs of the local community. Instead, Halloween New Orleans believes now is the perfect time to throw a party.
Their HNO Arcade takes place October 30-31 in New Orleans, and HNO tells Out Traveler partygoers will be providing much-needed financial support to Project Lazarus, which provides housing and support to people living with HIV.
“For 38 years, Halloween New Orleans (HNO) has been an all-volunteer organization with a singular focus - to raise as much money as possible for Project Lazarus,” says Jerry Henson, an HNO board member and director of sponsorship. “We achieve that goal each year by providing a weekend’s worth of events designed to engage partygoers of all stripes, whether they are interested in a black-tie event, a dance party, or a relaxing brunch.”
So far, HNO events have raised over $4.6 million for Project Lazarus, and this year the group and community desperately need the support.
“These past few months have been particularly challenging for Project Lazarus as Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to the property,” Susanne Dietzel, Ph.D. and executive director of Project Lazarus, tells Out Traveler. “People living with HIV in New Orleans need housing and support services now more than ever, making this year's event particularly important.”
Dietzel says the funds raised by HNO events go “directly toward Lazarus’ housing and clinical programs, which allow people to work on independent living skills and overcome the barriers that have prevented them from achieving independent housing, such as homelessness, substance use, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare.”
HNO had to make some tough choices about this year’s event, ultimately deciding to scale back their efforts this Halloween. Some events like Friday’s popular Lazarus Ball have been canceled, but Hanson assures Out Traveler HNO will still deliver a memorable experience, though.
“We look forward to a safe celebration, with smaller crowds and mandatory vaccination checks or negative tests to enter our parties,” Hanson explains, adding, “If someone is attending for the first time, or for the 30th time, they can expect to see the best costumes, dance to the best DJs, and spend the night celebrating at a uniquely New Orleans event.”
HNO Arcade takes place October 30-30 in New Orleans. All attendees must show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test. You can learn more about HNO Arcade 2021 at halloweenneworleans.com. You can learn more about Project Lazarus at projectlazarus.net.