The end of summer signals the arrival of Southern Decadence in New Orleans. While sometimes referred to “gay Mardi Gras” or “NOLA’s pride”, the weekend has a personality all its own. You’ll find boys on the bar around one corner, a leather beer bust around another, and pretty much every other flavor (literal or figurative) in between. Here are 5 decadent things not to miss:
1. Phoenix Block Party
Friday-Sunday Sept. 4-6, 9 p.m.- 2 a.m.
The blocked-off street outside the Phoenix transforms into a playground of beer trucks, food, and other vendors. Venture inside the popular bar, and check out the leather shop and maze if you’re feeling adventurous.
2. Kick Off with USDA Prime Aged Beef Contest
Thursday, Sept. 3 at 11 p.m.
One of our favorite neighborhood bars, Good Friends, hosts this annual “hotness” event for guys over 35 with $100 cash prize. Be sure to check out the custom George Dureau paintings created specifically for the bar.
3. Annual Grand Marshals’ Drag Show
Friday, Sept. 4 at 10 p.m.
Venture away from “gay ground zero” (Bourbon and St. Ann streets) and check out this annual event featuring Steven Mora, Rip Naquin, Marsha Delain, Misti Ates & Frankie Fierce, and many others at the Official Home of Southern Decadence: Golden Lantern.
4. Bourbon Street Extravaganza
Saturday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m.
You will get your fill of events inside of bars this weekend, but for a truly New Orleans treat, bring your cocktail of choice outside on Bourbon Street to hear Kristine W., Jeanie Tracy, Inaya Day and more. Best views are from the balconies of Oz New Orleans and Bourbon Pub & Parade.
5. Southern Decadence Parade
Sunday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.
A French Quarter walking parade whose official route tentative starts at Golden Lantern (the home of Southern Decadence) and winds its way around St. Ann, Rampart, St. Louis, and Royal streets. Fun costumes, marching bands, and carriages full of drag queens are all part of the event: a truly New Orleans experience.
Labor Day Lagniappe
18th Annual Survivors Outer Loop Bar Crawl
Monday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.
You made it! Now go on a bar crawl. Led by cruise director Ted Mahaffy and beginning with snacks at The Corner Pocket, this crawl heads to The Double Play, 700 Club, and ends with a barbecue at 4 p.m. at GrandPre’s. Consider it a perfect cherry on top of your holiday weekend.
Read More: An Insider’s Guide to Southern Decadence