In New Orleans, the gay community has quite a few celebrations throughout the year, including all the hubbub around Mardi Gras celebration (Feb. 28-Mar. 4 in 2014), the wild and colorful New Orleans Gay Halloween in late October (Oct. 24-31, 2014), and perhaps the biggest gay celebration of the region, Southern Decadence, which caps off the end of summer (Aug. 27–Sept. 1, 2014). 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 years are June 20 to 22, 2014.
A look back at last year's Pride celebration:
New Orleans Gay Pride comprises a number of events, including a Pride Kick Off Party at Boomtown Casino in nearby Harvey (at 4132 Peters Rd.), which runs from 7 until 11 pm on Friday.
Pride in New Orleans is a family-friendly affair, with one of the main events geared to kids and their parents - Chevrons New Orleans Pride Family Day is set for Saturday, from 1 until 5 pm, in Washington Square in charming Faubourg Marigny. Food and other vendors will appear at this event, and there will be live entertainment. That same day, following Family Day, the Dow New Orleans Gay Pride Parade departs at 6 pm from Washington Square, heading upriver along Royal Street, crossing Esplanade into the French Quarter, continuing on Royal Street and then Dumaine to Iberville, turning south a block, and then returning downriver along Bourbon to the corner of St. Phillip.
Other events during New Orleans Gay Pride include a Gay Block Party, details of which will appear here as information is made available. Also, on Monday, there's memorial event, Remembering the Upstairs Lounge, which recounts the tragic and deadly fire at the Upstairs Lounge gay bar (141 Chartres St.) on June 24, 1973, during Gay Pride weekend. You can read a very moving and poignant account of this fire, which killed 32 patrons, and is believed to have been started by a disgruntled patron, at the Pride New Orleans website.
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 and along Magazine Street for more on this fascinating 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.