HALLOWEEN NEW ORLEANS
GAY MARDI GRAS
New Orleans Gay Pride
|New Orleans pride began in
1971, when the newly-formed Gay Liberation Front of New Orleans presented
a "Gay In" picnic in February in City Park. The was the very first
such event in the entire state of Louisiana. Several
other gatherings were held throughout the city that year, and
intermittently thereafter until it became an annual event in 1978.
The 1978 event, held in Jackson Square, was the first to be identified as
"gay pride." Later that year, a larger event called "Gay Fest" was
presented in Washington Square, just outside of the French Quarter.
The first street parade was held in 1980. In 1981, the event moved to Armstrong Park, and was emceed by New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres. An event of some nature has been held almost every year since. In 1995, the celebration was rescheduled from June to Fall. In 1998, the festival was moved back to Armstrong Park, and in 2002 the parade was rescheduled from Saturday afternoon to Sunday night.
For 2005, the organizing Board voted to move Pridefest back to June. At the same meeting, it was decided to schedule only a street parade during the weekend, putting the other daytime events on hiatus during a year of restructuring. There was no parade for 2006 or 2007, with only an organized festival being held. A parade was once again held during the 2008 celebration, with a gathering in Washington Square. Currently, the annual parade is held on Saturday night through the French Quarter and surrounding areas.
History of Gay Pride
celebrations today have evolved into an annual ritual and have mushroomed to
encompass hundreds of thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender
participants throughout the entire world ... and this does not include the
The attire of attendees is generally vibrant, and can range from next to
nothing to full leather and fetish wear. It is all a reminder to the world
that we deserve and are entitled to the exact same rights as other citizens,
and should enjoy the freedom to live our own lifestyles without others
passing judgment and spewing hatred. As important, the celebrations
are a symbol of unity and solidarity, and provide a vehicle to demonstrate
the unique personality and characteristics that make up the very diverse
GLBT populations of the world.
International Association of LGBT Pride Coordinators
United States Gay Pride Celebrations
site updated on May 8, 2017
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