New Orleans Gay Easter Parade

New Orleans Gay Easter Parade
The Vieux Carré (French Quarter) of New Orleans is famous for hosting not one, but three parades on Easter Sunday. The day starts with the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, continues with the Chris Owens French Quarter Easter Parade and concludes with the Official Gay Easter Parade.

Every year, the gay and lesbian community of New Orleans organizes several large events that attract LGBT revelers from across the United States and abroad to the French Quarter. They include Southern Decadence (a six-day event culminating on the Sunday before Labor Day), Halloween New Orleans, the New Orleans Pride and the Gay Easter Parade.

The Gay Easter Parade is the final parade held in French Quarter on Easter Sunday, starting at 4:30 p.m. Although a lot of people associate gay parades with drag queens and half-naked men in leather, the Gay Easter Parade is actually a rather family-friendly event, nowhere near was extravagant as, for example, a Mardi Gras parade.

The Gay Easter Parade features revelers dressed in showy versions of their Easter Sunday finest (summers suits, tuxes and dresses), throwing beads and other trinkets into the crowd while riding lavishly decorated floats and horse-drawn carriages. The procession leisurely makes its way through the Vieux Carré (which is another name of the New Orleans French Quarter), passing local gay bars and gay-owned restaurants and retail stores.

The parade is followed by an annual Easter Bonnet Contest held at Good Friends Bar located a the corner of St. Ann and Dauphine streets. It is open for everyone to participate, and some of the entries can get pretty extravagant. Leather boys in frilly bonnets aren’t even the most outlandish thing you may see here. The winners of the contest are voted by the public.

The Gay Easter Parade serves as a fundraiser for Food for Friends, a program of NO/AIDS Task Force that supplies well-balanced, nutritious meals and groceries to those living with HIV and AIDS in the Greater New Orleans area. The program helps its clients stay as healthy as possible by providing meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. Other fundraisers for the program include Art Against AIDS, Bow Tie Bash, Dining Out for Life, and more.

New Orleans Gay Easter Parade

Photo: Wayne




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