“They arrive like Asian termites hungering for pine logs in French Quarter architecture. But these strange creatures arrive mostly to imbibe of the grape; mostly to be outrageous and have fun doing it.” – Southerndecadence.comSouthern Decadence, New Orleans’ biggest queer event, takes place Sept. 2-8 in the French Quarter. This one-time casual festival has turned into an all-out celebration that’s now attended by tens of thousands of revelers. If you like debauchery in the streets, candy as far as the eye can see and all-night parties then you certainly don’t want to miss this!We asked Southern Decadence’s director of media relations, Jonathan Bray to give us all the hottest details!GT: What are your personal recommendations for first-time visitors to Southern Decadence?JB: The big day is Sunday, and I would not miss the Southern Decadence parade. The traditional start is at the Golden Lantern on Royal Street. The parade ends at The Bourbon Pub/Parade at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets. And why just watch?? Whip up a costume and participate … it’s free and open to everyone! Lady Bunny brings her XXX-rated show to New Orleans on Friday night, and a sell-out is expected for this event for the fourth year in a row.GT: Which of the events over the course of the week do you think should NOT be missed?JB: Don’t miss the Big Dick Contest with Chi Chi LaRue on Thursday, the Lady Bunny Show on Friday, The Bourbon Street Extravaganza on Saturday, and most importantly the street parade and festival on Sunday afternoon into the night. And for fans of Shirley Q. Liquor, her shows on Saturday afternoon present a rare opportunity to experience her live.GT: Can you paint a picture of the scene for readers? What do the streets look like at the height of the event? Describe the vibe and the intensity, if you can, a typical night during Southern Decadence.JB: The gay epicenter of the French Quarter, at Bourbon and St. Ann streets, is a mass of humanity for blocks, as far as the eye can see. It’s an “anything goes” vibe and the intensity is off the chart. Once the sun goes down, all inhibitions are shed and the words raucous, raunchy, loud and crazy pretty well describe the feeling. I would also throw in sultry and sexual.GT: What is the theme of this year’s festival? Can you let us know what the colors are going to be?JB: The theme for 2009 is “HURRICANE – This Year They Blow Back” and the official colors are black, silver and red. The official song this year is “Stormy Weather” remixed by DJ Jayskee. The Grand Marshals for 2009 are Paloma and Tittie Toulouse.GT: How many attendees do you anticipate at this year’s event?JB: This is the million-dollar question. Before Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, attendance was steadily increasing and for 2005, based on the trend, was anticipated to be in the neighborhood of 100,000 revelers. Based on every indication, last year (2008) would have been the biggest Southern Decadence ever, had Mother Nature not sent Hurricane Gustav into the Gulf of Mexico. We anticipate 2009 to come in just under 100,000 attendees.I’m reluctant to mention the two recent hurricanes, and I always temper that with the observation that only twice in 38 years has Southern Decadence been interrupted by a weather-related event. So, we are quite optimistic for this year.Exclusive GayTravel.com Southern Decadence OFFER: Includes a luxury guestroom at the New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center with one king or two double beds, one complimentary cup of Starbuck’s Coffee (Starbuck’s Coffee Shop located on site) per night’s stay and $10 valet parking per night’s stay (regularly $30/night). The rate for the offer is $79 per night. The offer is available for the nights of September 4, 5 and 6. Click here to book View More Event Spotlight ArticlesView More Gaycations Articles

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