Official Southern Decadence XLI (41)

LABOR DAY WEEKEND Wednesday, August 29-Monday, September 3, 2012

Official Southern Decadence 2012

OFFICIAL THEME: Peace, Love & Hope = Monkey Dance
OFFICIAL COLORS: White, Purple & Silver
Starships by Nicki Minaj
OFFICIAL Sponsors:
Ambush Mag, SouthernDecadence.COM, Quartermaster Deli, Harrah’s, Absolut, Bud Light, QT Pie, Panda Bear, Bayou Beau, Fifi Mahoney’s, Rathbone Mansions, and Grey Cross Studios

Hurricane Issac Dampens Attendance at 41st Southern Decadence Estimated to be 25-30,000

The effects of Hurricane Issac devastated many areas across South Louisiana and Mississippi, but thankfully spared the City of New Orleans for the most part. All of the reinforced and rebuilt levees held keeping rising lake waters at bay. The French Quarter and CBD (Central Business District) did not lose power, but practically all of the rest of the city did including the Faubourg Marigny and Bywater, where many of the 41st Southern Decadence events were scheduled. Almost all of the events in the French Quarter went on without a hitch, while the Marigny and Bywater hung in there remaining open, and some of them with generators to keep things going.

The storm came in late August 28th through August 29th, cancelling events on Wednesday. With the airport shut down and not reopening until Friday, August 31st, many flights were rescheduled, forcing Decadence travelers to either drive in or cancel all together. Instead of the 135,000 expected, it's estimated that this year's celebration had between 25,000 to 30,000 with an economic impact of over $30 million. The GLBT community is very thankful for all that did make it in considering the obstacles of getting here. The party went on and it turned out to be as festive as ever.

From the numerous circuit DJs, stars, dancers, and events to the giant Bourbon Street Extravaganza on Saturday, and the 38th Southern Decadence Parade on Sunday, there was something for everyone. Visit SouthernDecadence.COM for highlights.

The 38th Southern Decadence Parade returned to its roots thanks to the efforts of Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXXVIII Pat McArdle, who kicked off the festivities at the Home of Southern Decadence, Tubby's Golden Lantern. For the first time since 1996, McArdle transformed the parade into the bar crawl it was from the second year of Decadence in 1973 through 1996. In 1997, the city required a parade permit and police detail to escort the parade. This year with the effects of Hurricane Issac shutting down city agencies, and several other unforeseen factors, there was no parade permit, nor police detail.

Additionally, SDGM XXXVIII Pat McArdle, had to go it alone, when reportedly her co-grand marshal TJ Conard called it quits prior to Southern Decadence weekend. The entire community owes Pat McArdle a debt of gratitude for preservering and delivering the event of the weekend which started this whole celebration 41 years ago.

When the reign of Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XXXVIII Pat McArdle and TJ Conard began, they jointly announced the choice of the "official" Southern Decadence charity as Belle Reve, which provides permanent and transitional housing along with full support services to adults and families living with AIDS or HIV related infections. McArdle, who was responsible for funds raised in the beginning of their reign in the amount of $2,121 presented that total to Vicki Weeks, Executive Director of Belle Reve New Orleans prior to Decadence weekend. Following that, reportedly another $2,300-$2,600 was raised and is allegedly in the hands of TJ Conard. As of press time, these funds have not been received by Belle Reve. Attempts to contact Conard by phone for comment have not been successful. As soon as the raised funds is received by Belle Reve, Ambush Mag will make that announcement public.

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