Official Southern Decadence XLV (45)

LABOR DAY WEEKEND Wednesday, August 31-Monday, September 5, 2016

45th Southern Decadence/2016

SDGMs XLII (42): "The Jewels of Decadence": Tony Leggio (Entourage: Purple Pirates of DecaDANCE), Felicia Phillips (Entourage: Little Bit's Bitches), Jeffrey Palmquist (Entourage: QUISTADORS) & Derek Penton-Robicheaux

OFFICIAL THEME: Decadence Takes The World

Amethyst (purple), Ruby (red), Sapphire (blue), & Pearl (white)

Ariana Grande's "Break Free",  a creative mix by DJ of the Year JRB

OFFICIAL CHARITIES: New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO)


45th Southern Decadence Sets New Records: Over 216,000 Participants, Over $259 Million Economic Impact, Over $27,000 for Charity
( see page 6)

The numbers are in for the 45th Annual Southern Decadence celebration of LGBT+ Life, Music and Culture bringing in over 216,000 participants Labor Day weekend 2016 in New Orleans. With an economic impact of a over $259 million, this will be one for the history books. The economic impact may be much more since the spending average per person is based on a very conservative $1,500. Ambush Magazine/ contacted numerous businesses following the celebration to calculate attendance and economic impact through revenues, admit tickets, and customer counts. Many of the businesses were up 20 to 27% with some closer to 50% and even one at 100%.

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Jeffrey Palmquist, Tony Leggio, Felicia Phillips and Derek Penton-Robicheaux raised over $27,000 for their charities to split between New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). Funds raised $44,212.85 minus expenses $16,867.62 benefited charity raising $27,345.23.

The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest. Since 1996, the celebration has had a 1 billion, $964 million dollar economic impact on the New Orleans economy, with estimated crowds now totaling over 2 million, 156 thousand.

Southern Decadence Financial Report/2016:
2,000.00 Beginning Balance
32,012.85 Total Fundraisers
10,200.00 Total Sponsorships
44,212.85 Sub-Total

51.30 Bank Fees
166.00 SDGM Sashes
315.00 SDGM Pins
6,000.00 SDGM Costume Allowance
15.00 Secretary of State Annual Report
500.00 Parade DJ
4,339.33 Insurance
507.77 Parade Sanitation/Cleanup
1,640.00 Police Detail
182.97 SDGM Invites
50.25 Parade Permit
100.00 Parade Expense
13,867.62 Expense Subtotal
3,000.00 Bank Account Reserve
16,867.62 -Expenses

27,345.23 Grand Total for Charities: 13,672.61 NOAGE Donation, 13,672.62 ARNO Donation

Official Southern Decadence Sponsors include Presenting - Official Southern Guide - Ambush Magazine, Official Website of Southern Decadence-, Official Vodka of Southern Decadence -SKYY Vodka, Oz New Orleans, Broussard's Restaurant;

Platinum - Official Drink of Southern - Tropical Isle's Hand Grenade, Official Beer of Southern Decadence - Bud Light, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Gay Appreciation Awards, Crescent City Tour Booking Agency, Official Home of Southern Decadence - The Golden Lantern, Elizabeth Bouvier & Gary Vandeventer, SDGM XLII Jeffrey Palmquist & Coca J. Mesa, Just Us Lounge/Biloxi;

Gold-Bourbon Pub & Parade, GrandPre's, The Double Play, Bourbon Pride, Misti Gaither (Johnny Passion) & Catherine Gaither, Irish Channel Funding, LLC, The Cheezy Cajun, Good Friends, Phoenix, Mag's 940, John Groth II;

Silver-Four Seasons & Patio Stage Bar, Cafe Lafitte in Exile, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., Rolling Elvi Inc./Jailhouse Rockers, Dr. Mac (Robert McWhirter), The Page, Harlequeen, Rawhide 2010, The Corner Pocket;

Bronze-Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli, A*Med Ambulance Service, Cutter's; and

Pearl-Dawn Leggio, SDGM XXVII Errol Rizzuto, June Pennick, Alexis Grace, Cam Zimmerman, Bonita Folse/Solitaire, Fabulous Flowers LLC, Jay Crockett.

Keep abreast of the latest information available in Ambush Magazine, your Official Southern Decadence Guide,, your Official Southern Decadence Website, or follow Southern Decadence at

Courtesy of Ambush Mag Official Southern Decadence Guide

Southern Decadence: The Whole Gay Weekend













45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence

45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence   45th Southern Decadence

Meet Your Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII

42nd Southern Decadence Grand Marshals, 2016

Ambush Magazine is happy to introduce you to the Southern Decadence Grand Marshals of 2016. It is exciting to see what all of this talent will bring to the celebration!

Anthony "Tony" Leggio

Anthony "Tony" Leggio has an extensive career in the hospitality community pertaining to event production as well as promoting New Orleans around the globe. Currently Anthony works for Hosts New Orleans, the premier destination management and event planning company in New Orleans. Tony has been in the hospitality industry for over over fifteen year previously working for Mardi Gras Productions and in the Public Affairs Department of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Anthony has produced over 5,000 events locally and nationally during his tenure in the industry. He is an active member of the following organizations: Meeting Planners International (MPI), Louisiana Society of Association Executives (LSAE), National Association of Caterers and Events (NACE), New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB), and International Society of Event Specialists (ISES). He was past president of NACE and the Hospitality Education & Networking Association (HENA).

In 2002, Anthony received awards for Best Event Production and Rising Star in the Hospitality Community from the New Orleans Chapter of NACE. In 2004, he has won Rising Star of the Year and in 2005 won Supplier of the Year for MPI. He also won Best Event Production award in 2011 for ISES. In 2015, his team at Hosts New Orleans won two awards from ADMEI for the Excellence in Event Production and Best Innovative Event $50,000 and Under categories. Traveling to trade shows around the country, Anthony works diligently to promote not only his company but New Orleans as a premier destination for convention groups.

Besides his professional career, Anthony has played an active role in the community. He has served as Event Chair of Art Against AIDS for the NO/AIDS Task Force and was honored as Humanitarian of the Year in 2010 by the organization. He has worked to help produce events for other noteworthy organizations such as the Cancer Crusaders, Julia Jump, NO/AIDS Task Force, National D-Day Museum, Zoo-To Do, Gambit Weekly, the Louisiana Philharmonic, The New Orleans Ballet Association, Southern Decadence, New Orleans Museum of Art and Children’s Hospital. He sits on the Board of the Gay Easter Parade and produces the successful Bunnies in the Big Easy event annually. He is also a freelance writer who has written for USA Today, several local publications, as well as contributing writer for Ambush Magazine. Tony has a blog NOLAOnReview and is part of Gambit’s Big Easy Theatre Committee. He participates in Mardi Gras extensively and has been Captain of the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon carnival organization for three years as well as King of the organization once. He has also been a past Grand Marshal for the Gay Easter Parade in 2009 and New Orleans Pride in 2011.

Felicia Phillips

Hailing from Beaumont, Texas, Felicia Phillips is the drag persona created by Philip Palumbo, more than a few years ago. Felicia’s career in Texas includes being named Miss Gay Golden Triangle and Miss Gay Beaumont as well as several bar titles. This led to being a pageant promotor and to date the longest running show director and emcee in the city. He was actively involved in organizing many fundraisers during the beginning of the AIDS crisis and continuing through 2005.

His male career was that of a costume and theatrical makeup shop owner of over 20 years. Later becoming a general manager of the oldest gay bar in southeast Texas.

After relocating to New Orleans in 2010, he worked first as manager of Krazy Katz on Bourbon, which became Bourbon Pride, then a hotel manager until joining the staff of GrandPre’s.

After a 12 year absence from the stage Felicia returned to help as a lieutenant for Reba Douglas during Southern Decadence 2014, and has continued on with fundraising, performing, as well as gaining notoriety as The Cheese Queen, writing The Real Cheese column in Ambush Magazine.

Jeffrey Palmquist

Jeffrey Palmquist grew up in South Dakota and has been a resident of New Orleans for many years. Jeff is the co-author of two books detailing gay history and lore in the French Quarter including "In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding America's Oldest Gay Bar", and "My Gay New Orleans".

He has served as chairman of the Cafe Lafitte In Exile Red Party annual staff charity turn-a-bout since 2009, and in 2014 was named Grand Reveler 1 by the Krewe Du Rue Royal Revelers.

Jeff was Head Sally-FLY (lieutenant) for Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLI Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain and hosted his successful Southern Decadence Courtyard Soiree raising $2,650 for Southern Decadence 2015. He has also hosted various cookouts at Cafe Lafitte in Exile benefiting several charities and causes including Southern Decadence 2015.

Jeff has been a bartender at Cafe Lafitte in Exile for the past 15 years, and was voted Bartender of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2013 by Ambush Magazine’s Annual Gay Appreciation Awards.

He and his partner of 11 years Joshua "Coca" Mesa live in the French Quarter.

Derek Penton-Robicheaux

Derek Penton-Robicheaux, is a native of Mississippi and a longtime resident of New Orleans. He is a national LGBT and local community activist, as well as a freelance contributor to multiple publications. He is a Founder and Executive Director of the Louisiana Equality Foundation. Derek and his husband, Jon Penton-Robicheaux, were legally married in Iowa on Sept. 23, 2012, and led the successful challenge to Louisiana’s same sex marriage ban as lead plaintiffs in the Federal Lawsuit, Robicheaux et al. v Caldwell et al., securing Marriage Equality here in Louisiana.

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