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?The Crescent City can?t catch a break. From Hurricane Katrina five years ago to Gustav a couple years later, and now the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf, New Orleans has taken a beating. But no matter what the world doles out, the city always bounces back with a spirit as boisterous as a second line jazz riff. Nowhere was that more evident than this past Labor Day weekend?s all-out-balls-out French Quarter street party, Southern Decadence. Having blossomed from a private amusement amongst a group of friends in 1972 into the 125,000-plus attendee explosion that is today -- pumping $150 million into the local tourism economy -- Southern Decadence is less a celebration of gay pride than a loosely organized fete to fabulousness, NOLA-style. That means costumes, beads, boozin?, cruising, live music, a parade, and frisky frivolity, plus no small amount of hot men, from bayou twinks to burly bears. Laissez les bons temps rouler, indeed! In the bars or spilled out in the streets, the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon is the epicenter of the city?s "Fruit Loop" and all the Decadence action. The Radical Faeries? Prince of Perversion Ball: Mounted Olympus A Go Go was held at the All-Ways Lounge in the Marigny gayborhood. Locals turned it out with a Greco-Roman costume theme. Nearby at fetish bar Phoenix, the Lords of Leather Block Party was in full swing. With poppers pumped in the air vents, the upstairs attic saw plenty of action. A constant source of amusement—surprisingly without incident, given the mass of people and strength of drinks—even bigots got to enjoy the party. Chuck Robinson?s 7th Annual Bourbon Street Extravaganza returned to entertain wall-to-wall crowds outside gay bar Napoleon?s Itch with a free outdoor mini music festival. Headliner Deborah Cox was supported by Damian Faul, Erika Jayne, Jeanie Tracy, and Kimberley Locke, as well as the Prancing Rockets dance troupe and members of the go-go nation. ?
A backup dancer for Erika Jayne pumps up backstage.
? Erika Jayne
? Kimberley Locke
? Deborah Cox
Best part about New Orleans: go cups.
Hurricane Earl meets a Peter Maid during the annual parade through the French Quarter, with an official theme of "Leather and Feathers" and black, powder blue, and purple colors. The 2010 Grand Marshals were Julien Artressia and Toby LeFort, who raised over $5,000 to benefit NO/AIDS Task Force.
? All you had to do to join the parade was don a costume?
?or lose your shirt.
Some aspiring advertising execs.
? A dancer outside the hilariously named 700 Club. Many a reveler found god in his abs there, and later at The Corner Pocket, a sleazy, divey, absolutely glorious go-go bar—John Waters?s favorite.
Glitter nips never hurt anyone.
? The daytime scene at Good Friends was poppin? outside?
? The Bourbon Pub / Parade
?The winner (L) of Caf? Lafitte?s in Exile Dick of Decadence contest and his boyfriend. His pretty penis scored him $700 and adoration over every inch.
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