Official Southern Decadence
XXXIX (39) LABOR DAY WEEKEND Wednesday, September 1-Monday,
2010 Decadence Makes Big Jump with 125,000 to 135,000 Participants; Over $160
Million Pumped into Local Economy
SDGMs XXXVI: Julien Artressia & Toby Lefort
OFFICIAL THEME: Leather & Feathers
OFFICIAL COLORS: Powder Blue, Black & Purple
OFFICIAL SONG: "Tu Es Foutu" You Promised Me! by InGrid, English/French version
OFFICIAL CHARITY: NO/AIDS Task Force
OFFICIAL SPONSORS: Ambush Mag, SouthernDecadence.COM, Harrah's Casino, Bud Light, Quartermaster, Bacardi, Absolut, Larry Graham, Sir Speedy
LABOR DAY WEEKEND Wednesday, September 1-Monday,
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."