Official Southern Decadence XXXIX (39)

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals 36 Poster

LABOR DAY WEEKEND Wednesday, September 1-Monday, September 6, 2010

SDGMs XXXVI: Julien Artressia & Toby Lefort
OFFICIAL THEME: Leather & Feathers   
OFFICIAL COLORS: Powder Blue, Black & Purple
Tu Es Foutu" You Promised Me! by InGrid, English/French version

OFFICIAL SPONSORS: Ambush Mag,  SouthernDecadence.COM, Harrah's Casino, Bud Light, Quartermaster, Bacardi, Absolut, Larry Graham, Sir Speedy

2010 Decadence Makes Big Jump with 125,000 to 135,000 Participants; Over $160 Million Pumped into Local Economy

The 39th Official Southern Decadence celebration of gay life, music and culture was up an average of 25-35% percent over 2009. The event brought out an estimated 125,000-135,000 revelers including visitors and locals. The economic impact on the city could very well exceed $160 million, based on a conservative spending average of $1,300 per person for the four-day Labor Day holiday, September 3-6. Many visitors stayed 5-7 days.

Ambush contacted a majority of gay businesses following the holiday to find that business was up in all cases across the board including bars, clubs, restaurants, delis and shopping establishments. Some businesses were up as high as 50% while others were up 10% or better. It appears that participants are not confining themselves to only one area of the Quarter. This year many visited different establishments throughout the French Quarter, CBD, uptown and particularly in the Faubourg Marigny/Bywater area of the city. Many gay friendly businesses showed their support of the giant celebration flying pride colors over their establishments and advertising in Ambush. Participants also visited more museums, art galleries and the casino as part of their vacation weekend, while booking more historic tours than in the past several years. More women participated this year than ever before.

Additionally, the Leather Block Party by Lords of Leather and the Phoenix turned into a two-day affair on both Friday and Saturday attracting thousands of Leather/Bears, the largest event outside of the French Quarter for Southern Decadence.

Even though Ambush printed an additional 2,000 mags for the holiday weekend, the publication flew off the shelves of distribution points throughout the city, many running out of the publication before the weekend was over.

This was the best Southern Decadence since the late Donnie Jay was grand marshal in 2004, the year before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Southern Decadence.

36th Southern Decadence Parade Brings Thousands to the Streets; $5,000 Raised for NO/AIDS Task Froce

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XXXVI Julien Artressia and Toby Lefort  led the 36th Southern Decadence Parade through the streets of the French Quarter bringing thousands out for the spectacle celebrating Leather & Feathers. The grand marshals succeeded in their goal of uniting the entire gay community bringing the French Quarter, Faubourg-Marigny, Bywater, Metairie and Slidell areas together raising a total of $5,000 for Southern Decadence Charity, NO/AIDS Task Force. This is the largest amount raised for charity in the history of Southern Decadence.

After an introduction and champagne toast by Southern Decadence Susan Lucci's Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain, the grand marshals addressed the huge crowd amassed outside of the Home of Southern Decadence, Tubby's Golden Lantern, and presented the $5,000 to NO/AIDS Task Force's Noel Twilbeck and Cheryl Grace.

The parade then lined up and headed down Royal Street where thousands of spectators waited in anticipation. Many of those joined the parade as it went by from Royal to St. Louis to N. Rampart to Toulouse to Burgundy to St. Peter, back to N. Rampart, then to St. Ann to Bourbon, ending at Lafitte’s.

Immediately following the parade, the grand marshals headed for Ambush Headquarter for the 17th annual Southern Decadence Bead Toss hosted by the Southern Decadence Susan Lucci's. Here they refreshed before heading out on the balcony, joined by their entourage to toss thousands of beads, doubloons and lube to the huge crowd below.

Southern Decadence sponsors included: Ambush Mag, SouthernDecadence.COM, Harrah’s Casino, Bud Light, Quartermaster, Bacardi, Absolut, Larry Graham, and Sir Speedy.

The 40th anniversary of Southern Decadence is set for August 31-September 5, 2011. Visit SouthernDecadence.COM to keep up with the latest.

13th Decadent Ducks Southern Decadence Visit Raises Over $3,200 for Food For Friends

The Decadent Ducks have flown the coop, but not before donating over $3,200 to Food For Friends, a program of NO/AIDS Task Force. The Ducks are a travel and social network, celebrating their 13th year attending Southern Decadence. This year, they arrived with 350 members in tow, but took time out of the weekend revelry to raise money for a great cause.

The leader of the Ducks, Troy Richardson, called this year’s annual festival the best ever. "Many people have said that this was the best Decadence they have ever been to! It was a beautiful weekend in New Orleans weather wise." In addition to the fundraiser for Food For Friends held at the Omni Royal Orleans, Richardson organized a plantation tour for members of the group, a special lunch at Bacco and several events at 700 Club, the Official Bar of the Decadent Ducks. New to this year was a tour of a Rum Distillery and a Bicycle Tour of the Garden District.

"We want to make sure all our members are out there, having a good time, enjoying everything the city has to offer, putting money back into New Orleans," Richardson says. "It’s a busy weekend overall, but we’re always looking for more to do, more to offer the group."

The weekend culminated in a tour of the NO/AIDS Task Force facilities and the Food For Friends center of operations. The Ducks were impressed with the scope and range of services offered by the Task Force. "It’s a huge undertaking," Richardson observes. "They do amazing work, and we’re grateful they took the time out of their busy schedule to show us around."

The Ducks organize several trips throughout the year but Southern Decadence is their biggest event of the year, attended by group members from all over the world. This year, members traveled to New Orleans from as far away as the UK and Spain, and though this year’s event just ended, Richardson is already making plans for next year. "I could schedule a whole month in New Orleans, and still not do and see everything. That’s why we keep coming back. The possibilities are endless."

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XXXVI Julien Artressia & Toby Lefort Express Thanks

I, Julien Artressia, your 2010 Co-Grand Marshal would like to personally thank Sammy Utley "Paloma" for choosing me to be your Co-Grand Marshal; and all of our Sponsors: Larry Graham for the beautiful photos, Bud Light, Absolut, Bacardi, Harrah's New Orleans, Sir Speedy, Quartermaster Deli, SouthernDecadence.COM, and a very special thank you to Rip and Marsha of Ambush Magazine, for being there every step of our way, and making us look so good. Also, thanks goes out to Urban Earth Flowers and Head Set Salon.

And to all the bars who hosted our fundraisers, which we raised $5,000 for NO/AIDS Task Force, thanks to Billy’s, Cutter’s, Lafitte’s, Country Club, Good Friends, Rawhide, Phoenix, Corner Pocket, Bywater Patio Bar, JohnPaul's, The Friendly Bar, Big Daddy's, 700 Club, Sanctuary, and a very special thanks to Tubby's Golden Lantern for keeping the tradition of Southern Decadence alive.

Also to Oz for hosting the Announcement Party, and of course, the Bourbon Pub, my home bar, for hosting the Press Party, and to Sandy Sachs, Bobby Revere, and Louis Sachs, for all their support, and for allowing me to be me during this wonderful journey! Thank you all so much. Napoleon's Itch, thanks for inviting us to the Bourbon Street Extravaganza stage, and for acknowledgments. And to the patrons of the bars who donated to our cause. Special thanks to The Friendly Bar for hosting the Brunch and Make-up Party on parade day.

I would additionally like to thank all the bars that allowed us to come in and have a great time and reunite the city as one. We all had a wonderful time in each club.

There are so many people I would like to thank, but that would be impossible to print, but I need to acknowledge a few ... Tiffany Alexander for making me look so good, and being very supportive; Brad Robert for always being there and helping with items in print, photography; all my ladies in waiting, and the men and boys of my Royal Court. And to the Royal Clothiers, Joey Misael "Potter’ for my dress, Clara Diaz and Lisa Beaumann for all the costumes, and last but not least, Bryan of Fifi Mahoney’s for my beautiful wigs! I love you all.

And to all of the bars on the Labor Day Survivor's Bar Crawl: Corner Pocket, Double Play, Le Roundup, Society Page, 700 Club, Ninth Circle, Voodoo Bar and to Starlight for the great ending barbecue.

Thank you all. I was and still am very honored and humbled to have served the city as one of your Co-Grand Marshals. I will cherish my memories always.

--Julien Artressia, 2010 Co-Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXVI

I would first of all would like to thank Tittie Toulouse for naming me Southern Decadence Grand Marshal. Without you none of these great moments would have ever happened. I would like to thank all of our sponsors: Bud Light, Harrah's Casino, Bacardi, Absolut, Ambush Magazine, SouthernDecadence.COM, Sir Speedy, Quartermaster Deli, and Larry Graham.

I would also like to thank all of the venues that participated in our fundraising activities: Tubby’s Golden Lantern, Mike's Bywater BBQ, Country Club, Friendly Bar, Cutter's, Big Daddy’s, Phoenix, JohnPaul’s, Cafe Lafitte, Rawhide, Good Friends, 700 Club, Corner Pocket, Sanctuary, and Billy’s in Slidell which raised $5,000.

I would like to say a very special thank you to Golden Lantern for keeping the tradition of the start of the parade there and welcoming us to their bar. I would like to say thanks to the Friendly Bar for hosting the make-up party and brunch that was made by Quartermaster Deli.

Thanks to all the bars that hosted us on our bar runs and welcomed us to their clubs throughout the entire season. Thanks to Chuck and Bill from Four Seasons, Billy’s, and Double Play for their continued support for me and the community. Thanks to all who made contributions to make this possible.

I would like to say thanks to Phil Fricano for hosting the Friday Night parade "Knights of Decadence." Rip and Marsha thanks for putting us out there on the front of America, without your support we could not reach the world.

Thanks to the City of New Orleans and the police department for keeping everything together for us. I know I am probably forgetting to thank someone very special so I want to say THANKS A MILLION TO THE ENTIRE WORLD that was here by my side. If I forgot someone, I am very sorry.

Thanks a million, Toby Lefort, SDGM XXXVI

2010 Highlights
Courtesy of Ambush Mag
Official Southern Decadence Guide


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