In New Orleans, the gay community has quite a few celebrations throughout the year, including all the hubbub around Mardi Gras celebration (Feb. 28 in 2017), the wild and colorful New Orleans Gay Halloween in late October (Oct. 27-Oct. 30, 2016), and perhaps the biggest gay celebration of the region, Southern Decadence, which caps off the end of summer (Aug. 31 through Sept. 5, 2016). It's only in the past few years, however, that the city began to hold an annual New Orleans Gay Pride Festival, taking place when many cities hold similar events, in late June. The dates this year are June 17 to 19, 2016, which is one week after Baton Rouge Gay Pride, in Louisiana's nearby capital city.
Pride in New Orleans is a free-spirited and fun celebration over four days, beginning with An Evening with Bianca Del Rio (hosted by the eponymous Season 6 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race), followed by two after parties on Friday.
On Saturday, June 18, get the fun started with the Pre-Parade Block Party from 3 until 7 pm at the famed Phoenix gay bar in the Marigny, on Elysian Fields Avenue (at N. Rampart Street). Another pre-parade option is the trans-focused Girl Party and kickoff event at the Bourbon Pub on Saturday from 4 until 8 pm.
These parties both take place before the New Orleans Gay Pride Parade, which is a night-time procession that commences at 7:30 pm outside the aforementioned Phoenix bar and moves down Elysian Fields Avenue for a couple of blocks, past Washington Square Park, down Frenchmen Street, where it then runs the length of the French Quarter along Decatur Street, then cuts up Canal Street for two blocks, and then returns through the Quarter along Bourbon Street, ending at Esplanade. There are then Pride dance parties taking place on Saturday night at Bourbon Pub, Oz, and the Phoenix. Here's a full calendar of events.
On Sunday, June 19, don't miss the Official New Orleans PrideFest 2016, a three-hour party along the 800 block of Bourbon Street (right outside Oz and Bourbon Pubs, at St. Ann Street). Debby Holiday and Jai Rodriguez are among the performers.The revelry continues on Sunday with a Pride T-Dance at Bourbon Pub at 5 pm, followed by the Pride Lipstixx Show at Bourbon Pub at 8 pm, while newly renovated Oz is having its Ladies of Oz celebration at 9 pm.
Have a look at the New Orleans Gay Nightlife Guide for more details on where to play and socialize during Pride New Orleans.
New Orleans Gay Resources
You'll also find New Orleans gay bars pretty packed during this celebration. Check out my New Orleans gay-friendly hotels guide for guidance on where to stay during Pride, and see my articles New Orleans shopping in the French Quarter for more on this fascinating city.
We also love this "10 Things You Should Definitely do at NOLA Pride" article, published by GoNola.com, which is a great all-around resource on the city.
You'll also find plenty of useful information on gay New Orleans in Ambush Magazine and at the website GayNewOrleans.com. Be sure as well to take a look at the GLBT section of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.