New Orleans Pride is experiencing a bit of a renaissance as one of the fastest growing Pride festivals in the country. Last year, Travel + Leisure named it as one of their “Nine LGBT Destinations to Visit This Summer,” and people are starting to notice. The events have been growing in number each year, and 50,000 plus folks are expected to swarm the city for this year’s parade.
We’ve outlined a few reasons this year’s event will be even more special:
1. You could be IN the Pride Parade
There will be a 100-foot-long rainbow flag leading the parade through the French Quarter and down Bourbon Street, and volunteers are needed to help carry it (sign up here). This is a truly unique experience, and you’ll even get a T-shirt for helping out! This year’s parade is set to have more than 1,000 participants, including nine floats and more than 70 groups.
2. It’s also the annual Louisiana HRC Dinner
Some years these great events overlap, giving you a chance to add a little black tie to your rainbow wardrobe. The Gala and Auction happens on Saturday, June 18 at the Hyatt Regency. The General Reception starts at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards at 6:45 p.m. This has been an important year for LGBT rights, and this gala is not to be missed. You can buy individual tickets and will be placed at a table, or you can host your own table. Three amazing local chefs will serve up the dinner, and there is an after-party in one of the suites upstairs in the hotel.
3. This weekend is a great value
4. Girls, girls, girls
Pride is definitely one time of year the girls will be OUT! Besides the Girl Party at the Bourbon Pub on Saturday (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.), you will be certain to find lesbians at Swirl Bar on Friday night, at the HRC Gala, and enjoying the music in the city.
Missing the “queen of mean”? The winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, our hometown girl, Bianca is back to kick off the Pride festivities with a show at the Joy Theater. She’ll be joined by Drag Race alums Mrs. Kasha Davis, Milk, and Darienne Lake.
6. New this year: PrideFest on Bourbon
This year, New Orleans Pride is taking to the streets. On Sunday, June 19, the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets will become a musical stage starring Debby Holiday, Jai Rodriguez, Billy Francesca, Persana Shoulders and many more.
7. If you’re still not convinced…press play
New Orleans Pride Parade on Bourbon Street being led by a giant rainbow flag.
(Top photo courtesy Paul Broussard)