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A 2018 LGBT Guide to New Orleans

No matter what time of year you like to travel, New Orleans’ gay & lesbian community has something for you. (Updated June 2018, all content from earlier in the year has been pushed down)

It’s never too early to start planning your next trip to New Orleans. That’s why we created this handy Year-at-a-Glance guide for you. While some of these events may not be specifically LGBT, we invite you to check out some other incredible New Orleans events like the Oyster Festival or the Red Dress Run. Come when your schedule allows – sometimes, exploring in the off-season can be the best time! Our GoNola LGBT Hub keeps you updated no matter when your trip falls. Stay up to date with all LGBT events in the city by joining our mailing list.

June 2-3: New Orleans Oyster Festival
Compete in oyster eating and shucking contests or watch judges choose the best oyster and white wine pairings while you taste the vibrant flavors of oysters from around the Gulf Coast.

June 8-10: New Orleans Pride
Come celebrate our community at the annual Pride festival. Features a parade through the French Quarter and Family Day festivities.

June 21-23: FestiGals
Girlfriend Getaway Weekend – a celebration of women and New Orleans.

(photo: Zack Smith)

July 4: Independence Day French Quarter
Grab your family and picnic blankets and settle into a spot along the river to watch a grand fireworks display.

July 5-8: Essence Festival
A music festival celebrating Essence magazine, African-American women, and much more.

July 13-15: Stonewall National Sports Games
Stonewall celebrates their 5th Annual Games in New Orleans

July 14: HRC Louisiana Gala Dinner & Auction
26th Annual Dinner and Silent Auction held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

July 14: Running of the Bulls
Join a huge group of partying white and red-clad “runners” who expertly evade girls on rollerblades (the bulls) with plastic bats looking to gently tap your behind.

July 16: Bastille Day Fête
Bring the family to join in on games and merriment celebrating the event that kicked off the French Revolution.

July 18-23: Tales of the Cocktail
The 15th Annual Tales of the Cocktail is the perfect place to pick up new boozy techniques and knowledge. Learn cocktail histories and sample their different recipes from famed bartenders around the city.

July 29: LGBT Baby Cakes Game
The New Orleans Baby Cakes are sponsoring their 1st LGBT Pride baseball game.

August 5: Whitney White Linen Night
A night celebrating art in the city while dressed in white.

August 11: Red Dress Run
Men and women don red dresses for a short charitable run in the French Quarter. Don’t want to run? Put on a red dress and come celebrate anyway.

August 12: Dirty Linen Night
Following the artsy White Linen Night, guests continue the party the next weekend in the French Quarter in the same outfits (hence the dirty). It’s a faux walk of shame that progresses into the night.

August 18: 2019 Pride Pageant

August 30 – September 3 (Labor Day Weekend): Southern Decadence
Over 300,000 LGBTQs gather in the French Quarter for a long weekend of revelry.

September 1: First Annual Pride Run
New Orleans is hosting its first ever pride run/walk in Crescent Park.

(photo: Rebecca Todd)

October 20: Krewe of Boo
A beloved parade with a cult following of Halloween fanatics and families alike.

October 26-28: Halloween New Orleans (HNO)
A weekend of events and parties raising money for charity, and a favorite for LGBTQ visitors.

October (date TBD): Armenius Oktoberfest Event

November 17: 9th Annual Pride Pub Crawl

November (dates TBD): Faux/Real Festival
Flourishing arts festival commemorating artists of literature, theater, food, and drink.

December 7-9: Bourbon Street Classic Softball Tournament

December (dates TBD): Christmas NOLA Style and the Krewe of Jingle Parade
The most wonderful parade of the year filled with Christmas jingle and holiday cheer.

December 31: New Year’s Eve
Ring in the city’s 301st Anniversary year with fireworks along the Mississippi River.

(photo: Roy Guste)

January 5-7: Wizard World Comic Con
There’s a place for all people and costumes at Wizard World.

January 6: Krewe of Mwindo
Celebrate the krewe’s 20th Annual Ball.

January 20: Amon Ra Ball
Join the 2nd-oldest gay krewe in New Orleans for their Mardi Gras Ball. Per tradition, the theme will be announced the night of the ball.

January 26: Krewe of Stars Ball

January 27: Krewe du Vieux
Bring your sense of humor as this raunchy, satirical commentary on today’s politics rolls through the Marigny, French Quarter, and CBD. This adult-themed mayhem is beloved by locals and tourists alike.

January 27: GrrlGras Masquerade
A masquerade party for lesbians and friends at Bamboula’s immediately proceeding the Krewe du Vieux parade.

February 2: Krewe of Petronius Ball

February 10: Krewe of Armenius Ball
The first gay carnival krewes began organizing in the late 1950’s, as a spoof of the straight carnival balls. You will not want to miss the Krewe of Armeinius’ 50th Anniversary celebration at Mardi Gras World.

February 11: Lords of Leather Ball
Celebrate Bal XXXV with NOLA’s biggest gay leather group.

February 13th: Mardi Gras Day
We challenge you to complete this Mardi Gras Day bucket list.

February 13: Bourbon Street Awards
The ultimate costume contest on Bourbon Street featuring amazing costumes from all of the gay Mardi Gras balls and more! Anyone can join.

February 14: Valentine’s Day
Celebrate your significant other in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

March 9-10: Buku Music & Art Project
One of New Orleans’ biggest and best music festivals.

March 14 -25: Phantom of the Opera at Saenger Theatre
Come see Broadway, New Orleans-style.

March 23-25: Saints and Sinners Literary Festival
Join LGBT publishers, writers, and readers from around the world at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival for panel discussions and classes where authors, editors, and publishers talk about their work benefitting up-and-coming authors and LGBT literary fans.

March 30: Bunnies in the Big Easy
Gay-themed Easter celebration held on Good Friday.

March TBD: Pride Grand Marshall Reception/ Sponsor Party

(photo: Zack Smith)

April 1: Gay Easter Parade
This lively afternoon parade passes just about every gay bar in the French Quarter. It showcases the fashion and creativity of the entire LGBT community with gentlemen in summer suits/tuxes with hats and ladies in Easter suits/dresses with Easter hats.

April 12-15: French Quarter Festival
One of our favorite local festivals featuring live music all through the French Quarter and along the river.

May 18-20: Bayou Boogaloo
Grab the flotation device of your choice and head to Bayou St. John for a free music festival with live music and food.

May 28 (Memorial Day): Mascara Run
A hilarious gay bar crawl in the French Quarter where teams compete to raise money as they add pieces of drag clothing at each stop.

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