You truly never know what you’ll find in New Orleans – and we like it that way!
What started as a simple house-party in 1972, given by a small group of friends, has grown and evolved into what has become the “Mardi Gras” of the Gay-friendly community! So how does a small gathering morph into such a large celebration now known as Southern Decadence? It’s simple, really. The house party was originally an amusement, planned by a group of Tennessee Williams-loving housemates as a farewell to a friend. Party attendees were required to dress as their favorite “decadent Southern” character. And the seeds were sown.
The party went so well, in fact, that this same group of friends decided to do it again next year, meeting at a French Quarter bar to show off their costumes before walking back to their home. And the first Southern Decadence parade was born! In 1974, the friends declared one of their own the Grand Marshal, in the spirit of bringing some semblance of order to their motley little party… and the roots took hold.
As this group of friends moved on, the celebration stayed put. In 1981, the last of the group took over the festivities with new friends, and this is when the event became a mostly-gay celebration of flamboyance of costume and personality, and the tradition continues to this day.
The extended Labor Day “weekend” begins on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 and lasts through Monday, September 3, with the official parade through the French Quarter on Sunday, September 2, 2012.
It seems that visitors to New Orleans from all walks of life are also fascinated with the parades, costumes, and street activities, and we receive guests from diverse backgrounds during Labor Day weekend. They can choose to go and watch the parades in select sections of the French Quarter, or they can enjoy the mainstream areas like Jackson Square and the French Market. Please be aware that the Southern Decadence event is for mature and tolerant audiences. Much like Mardi Gras, you may not want to witness some of the extremes to which attendees will go in order to receive parade beads.
Over 100,000 revelers are expected to gather in The Crescent City for this annual landmark event, so make your room reservations now at our New Orleans Garden District inn. We are close enough to the fun to be convenient, yet just far enough away to offer an escape from the revelry! From here, you can easily catch the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line just outside our front door, which takes you straight to Bourbon Street. We look forward to welcoming you as our guests for the Labor Day weekend and for Southern Decadence!
What you attend is your choice, and we like it that way!