This weekend marks the 47th Southern Decadence Festival, the largest LGBT event in New Orleans. What started as a small going-away party has transformed into a grand celebration of queerness and the LGBT community in the city. Fondly known as “Decadence,” many of the events of this weekend are open to both the queer community and their allies. Below, we list 6 events to consider during the celebration.
Poppy’s Drag Queen Brunch Book Launch Party
Celebrating the launch of her book, Drag Queen Brunch, famed New Orleans culinary historian Poppy Tooker is throwing a party at Brennan’s champagne happy hour. Also serving as a kickoff party for Decadence, there will be specialty cocktails, book signings, and a “glitter buffet” from Elektra Cosmetics. Oh, and drag queens. Many, many drag queens. Runs 4-6 p.m. Friday, champagne toast at 5 p.m.; more information here.
Ace Hotel New Orleans’ CAKE
This is the second year that the Ace Hotel is throwing this extravaganza, which takes place over the course of three days. The party includes the “Big Queer Pod Fest” on Saturday, where several queer podcasters will host live interviews and games, and “Just Dance,” a dance party celebrating people of color within the LGBT community. The Ace is also offering a discount for hotel stays during Southern Decadence, so if you’re looking for a home base this weekend, look no further. Runs Friday-Sunday, more information here.
New Orleans Pride Run + Walk
This race is a much-needed break from the indulgent events of Decadence. Sponsored by the New Orleans Track Club, this 5K raises money for PFLAG, a group that advocates for and supports the LGBT community in New Orleans. The race is held in Crescent Park and open to runners/walkers of all speeds, though prizes will be given to the top finishers. Teams are encouraged to participate, and prizes will be given to the largest team and the team with the most spirit. Registration starts at 8 a.m., race begins at 9; more information here.
LGBTea at the Windsor Court
Is there anything more luxurious than tea at the Windsor Court? Though the hotel offers their British afternoon tea every weekend, this Saturday, the tea will celebrate the diversity and community of Southern Decadence. In addition to tea and treats, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys will be served, and drag queen Kookie Baker will perform. Must be 21 to attend, reservations required; more information here.
Arnaud’s Bey-Day Brunch
Beyoncé’s birthday (September 4th) isn’t a national holiday, but it should be. This year, Arnaud’s is celebrating the Queen B with a themed brunch, including such offerings as the seafood gumbo served with a “Halo” of rice and the Bey-Hive Baked Alaska. This brunch is not only a celebration of Mrs. Carter, it’s also a celebration of Decadence, as several drag queens will be performing, including Laveau Contraire, Debbie with a “D,” and Coca Mesa. Served 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Sunday, reservations required; more information here.
Southern Decadence Grand Marshal Parade
The signature event of the weekend, the Grand Marshal Parade winds through the French Quarter, beginning at the Golden Lantern Bar (where Decadence was founded), and ending on Bourbon St. at Lafitte’s Blacksmith and Bar. This year’s Grand Marshals, William Antill and Daryl Dunaway Jr., who have spent the year raising money for Decadence to happen, will lead the group of revelers. All are welcome to join in the parade. Starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, more information here.