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MARDI GRAS

 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions



Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About
Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
 

 

Gay Mardi Gras

 

Celebrating Fat Tuesday and the LGBTQ Community
 

Gay Mardi Gras is without a doubt the most outrageous gay and lesbian event in New Orleans, second only to the annual Southern Decadence Weekend Celebration in the number of gay and lesbian revelers. It takes place in the lower French Quarter. This is where the epicenter of the Gay New Orleans community is located at the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Streets, anchored by the city's largest gay nightclub, The Bourbon Pub / Parade.

Tradition dictates that the official Mardi Gras season begins on January 6th, or Twelfth Night. The duration is determined by the Church calendar, and runs until the beginning of Lent, which is Ash Wednesday. The climax is "Fat Tuesday" (or Mardi Gras Day), the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. And Ash Wednesday is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Finally, Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of Spring. The entire season can last as long as two months.

 

The outrageous activities associated with Mardi Gras easily lend themselves to queer celebration. Almost from the beginning, the LGBTQ community embraced the festivities, symbols, motifs, and flamboyant spirit of Mardi Gras. LGBTQ Pride parades often resemble Mardi Gras parades. Events commonly referred to as the Gay Mardi Gras include:

 

--Mardi Gras, in New Orleans, Louisiana
--Southern Decadence, in New Orleans, Louisiana

--Carnival, in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
--Sydney Mardi Gras, in Sydney, Australia (formerly known as Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)
 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions

 

 

Celebrating Mardi Gras

 

Beads and Bling
 

Mardi Gras is about music, parades, parties, picnics, floats and excitement. It's one big rowdy, raucous holiday in New Orleans!

Revelers know to wear costumes or at least dress in purple, green, and gold, and adorn themselves with long beads caught from the floats of previous parades. Parade goers will sit on the ground, throw balls, play music, eat great food and watch the crowds walk by between parades. On Mardi Gras day, the majority of non-essential businesses are shut down because of the celebration.

To engage in the Mardi Gras festivities is to collect beads, cups, doubloons, trinkets, and all manner of bling (referred to as "throws").  In fact, every year, over 25 million pounds of Mardi Gras beads are thrown from floats. You'll see a lot of colorful masks and outrageous costumes worn by revelers.  Your feet will not stay still while you watch (and listen to) the jazz bands marching in the street playing "When the Saints Go Marching In."  You will not be able to resist the Cajun and Creole cuisine, including crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, beignets, and king cake (a Mardi Gras tradition).

 

 

Pagan Roots

 

Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Bacchanalia, Saturnalia, and Lupercalia.

 

When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

 

Mardi Gras is part of an overall "carnival" celebration, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities that follow Fat Tuesday and lead up to Easter Sunday.  The word carnival in Medieval Latin is carnelevarium, which means to take away, remove, or give up meat, from the word carnem for meat.
 

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About
Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

 

Costume Party

Mardi Gras, as a celebration of life before the more-somber occasion of Ash Wednesday, nearly always involves the use of masks and costumes by its participants, and the most popular celebratory colors are purple, green, and gold. In New Orleans, for example, these often take the shape of fairies, animals, people from myths, or various Medieval costumes as well as clowns and Indians (Native Americans). However, many costumes today are simply elaborate creations of colored feathers and capes. Unlike Halloween costumery, Mardi Gras costumes are not usually associated with such things as zombies, mummies, bats, blood, and the like, though death may be a theme in some. The Venice tradition has brought golden masks into the usual round of costumes.

 



Show Us Your Tits

Women exposing their breasts during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, has been documented since 1889, when the Times-Democrat decried the "degree of immodesty exhibited by nearly all female masqueraders seen on the streets." The practice was mostly limited to tourists in the upper Bourbon Street area. In the crowded streets of the French Quarter, generally avoided by locals on Mardi Gras Day, flashers on balconies cause crowds to quickly form.

In the last decades of the 20th century, the rise in producing commercial videotapes catering to voyeurs helped encourage a tradition of women baring their breasts in exchange for beads and trinkets. Social scientists studying "ritual disrobement" found, at the 1991 Mardi Gras event, 1,200 instances of women exposing their breasts.

 

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

Gay Mardi Gras Tradition
 

While the first official gay Carnival krewe, the Krewe of Yuga, was formed in the late 1950s, ďGay Mardi GrasĒ had been going on underground way before then. As a spoof of traditional Mardi Gras krewes, the Yuga ball featured a glittering presentation of royalty, including a Queen, King, Captain, debutantes and maids. Though no longer active, Yuga gave birth to other gay Carnival krewes, including the Krewe of Petronius and the Krewe of Amon-Ra, both of which are still active.

While on the surface Mardi Gras appears to be no more than a party, many say Gay Mardi Gras helped usher in the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. Today it remains an important symbol of pride for the community and its allies.

 


 

Mardi Gras Balls

 

Mardi Gras balls are an extremely important part of LGBTQ Mardi Gras celebrations. They are typically themed and feature dazzling handmade costumes and presentations of krewe royalty. Here are some of the best-known gay Carnival balls.

--Armeinius
--Petronius
--Lords of Leather
--Satyricon
--Amon-Ra
--Krewe of Mwindo
--Krewe of Stars

 

 

Other Gay Carnival Events

 

Fat Monday Luncheon  -  A tradition since 1949, the Fat Monday Luncheon is the oldest organized activity in all of Louisiana LGBTQ history. The luncheon began when Bob Demmons crowned one of his out-oftown Mardi Gras guests Queen of the luncheon during a small gathering at Brennanís restaurant. After the group grew too large for Brennanís, the organizers approached Arnaudís restaurant where they were welcomed with open arms. Each year, two queens are crowned: one from out of town and one from New Orleans. Other participants are singled out for various honors as well.

Bourbon Street Awards   -  The Bourbon Street Awards, which takes place in the French Quarter every year on Mardi Gras morning, is Carnivalís ultimate costume contest. Awards are given in a variety of categories, including Best Leather, Best Drag, Best Group and Best Overall Costume. Cash prizes are awarded and the event is hosted by celebrity emcees.
 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions

 

 

Sydney Mardi Gras

 

Gay Pride Aussie Style

 

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras or Sydney Mardi Gras is an event in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, attended by hundreds of thousands of people from around Australia and overseas. One of the largest such festivals in the world, Mardi Gras is the largest Pride event in Oceania. It includes a variety of events such as the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and Party, Bondi Beach Drag Races, Harbour Party, the academic discussion panel Queer Thinking, Mardi Gras Film Festival, as well as Fair Day, which attracts 70,000 people to Victoria Park, Sydney.

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of Australia's biggest tourist drawcards, with the parade and dance party attracting many international and domestic tourists. It is New South Wales' second-largest annual event in terms of economic impact, generating an annual income of about A$30 million for the state.

 



The event grew from gay rights parades held annually since 1978, when numerous participants had been arrested by New South Wales Police Force. The Mardi Gras Parade maintains a political flavour, with many marching groups and floats promoting LGBTQ rights issues or themes. Reflecting changes since the first Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, participants in the Mardi Gras Parade now include groups of uniformed Australian Defence Force personnel, police officers from New South Wales Police Force, as well as interstate and federal police officers, firefighters and other emergency services personnel from the Australian LGBTQ communities. Marriage equality was a dominant theme in the 2011 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade with at least 15 floats lobbying for same-sex marriage.

In 2019 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras submitted a bid to host WorldPride 2023 competing against Montreal, Canada and Houston, Texas. InterPride chose Sydney, Australia to host WorldPride 2023 at their Athens October 2019 Annual General Meeting of three hundred delegate organizations, the first time WorldPride will be held in the Southern Hemisphere or Asia Pacific region.
 

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

 

Origins of Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday in the New World

 

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of "Boeuf Gras," or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.

On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras" when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday. Bienville also established "Fort Louis de la Louisiane" (which is now Mobile, Alabama) in 1702. In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America's very first Mardi Gras.

In 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those that form our current Mardi Gras krewes. It lasted until 1709. In 1710, the "Boeuf Gras Society" was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861. The procession was held with a huge bull's head pushed along on wheels by 16 men. Later, Rex would parade with an actual bull, draped in white and signaling the coming Lenten meat fast. This occurred on Fat Tuesday.

 



New Orleans was established in 1718 by Bienville. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans, but not with the parades we know today. In the early 1740s, Louisiana's governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, established elegant society balls, which became the model for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls of today.

The earliest reference to Mardi Gras "Carnival" appears in a 1781 report to the Spanish colonial governing body. That year, the Perseverance Benevolent & Mutual Aid Association was the first of hundreds of clubs and carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.

By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback riders to celebrate Mardi Gras. Dazzling gaslight torches, or "flambeaux," lit the way for the krewe's members and lent each event an exciting air of romance and festivity. In 1856, six young Mobile natives formed the Mistick Krewe of Comus, invoking John Milton's hero Comus to represent their organization. Comus brought magic and mystery to New Orleans with dazzling floats (known as tableaux cars) and masked balls. Krewe members remained anonymous.

In 1870, Mardi Gras' second Krewe, the Twelfth Night Revelers, was formed. This is also the first recorded account of Mardi Gras "throws."

 


 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions


Newspapers began to announce Mardi Gras events in advance, and they even printed "Carnival Edition" lithographs of parades' fantastic float designs (after they rolled, of course - themes and floats were always carefully guarded before the procession). At first, these reproductions were small, and details could not be clearly seen. But beginning in 1886 with Proteus' parade "Visions of Other Worlds," these chromolithographs could be produced in full, saturated color, doing justice to the float and costume designs of Carlotta Bonnecase, Charles Briton and B.A. Wikstrom. Each of these designers' work was brought to life by talented Parisian paper-mache' artist Georges Soulie', who for 40 years was responsible for creating all of Carnival's floats and processional outfits.

1872 was the year that a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival, Rex, to preside over the first daytime parade. To honor the visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff, the businessmen introduced Romanoff's family colors of purple, green and gold as Carnival's official colors. Purple stands for justice; gold for power; and green for faith. This was also the Mardi Gras season that Carnival's improbable anthem, "If Ever I Cease to Love," was cemented, due in part to the Duke's fondness for the tune.

 



The following year, floats began to be constructed entirely in New Orleans instead of France, culminating with Comus' magnificent "The Missing Links to Darwin's Origin of Species," in which exotic paper-mache' animal costumes served as the basis for Comus to mock both Darwin's theory and local officials, including Governor Henry Warmoth. In 1875, Governor Warmoth signed the "Mardi Gras Act," making Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana, which it still is.

Like Comus and the Twelfth Night Revelers, most Mardi Gras krewes today developed from private social clubs with restrictive membership policies. Since all of these parade organizations are completely funded by their members, New Orleanians call it the "Greatest Free Show on Earth!"
 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

Mardi Gras History

Laissez le bontemps roulez!

 

Every year, New Orleans shuts down and throws the party of parties. Everywhere else in the country, it's just another Tuesday, but, in New Orleans it's Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras is more than a single day of celebration. It's a state of mind. Mardi Gras reflects and defines the cultural traditions of New Orleans. Most "outsiders" assume Mardi Gras takes place on a single day. This is true. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. Some time ago, the tradition was to slaughter a fatted calf on the Tuesday before the beginning of the Lenten 40 day fast. Thus, the coining of the phrase "Fat Tuesday."

There is a distinction, however, between Mardi Gras and Carnival. Mardi Gras is a single day that is the climax for the Carnival season. The Carnival season begins on January 6th or Twelfth Night (Kings Night) and runs until the beginning of Lent - the Easter season (Ash Wednesday). Carnival can run as long as two months, depending on the church calendar.

 



Mardi Gras day or Fat Tuesday is the traditional day for masking. However, you'll find people enjoying this tradition beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras day. Mardi Gras costumes are elaborate. Sequins and feathers rule the day. Families and friends often mask as a group. It's not unusual to see a marching box of Crayola Crayons or a studly herd of bare chested firemen carrying a ten foot hose. Anything goes on Mardi Gras day. Even though the obscenity laws are still on the books, it's amazing what people get away with wearing or, should we say, NOT wearing.

The French Quarter is often the location for "adult" Mardi Gras. Costumes can be more than revealing and there are some Carnival traditions (Show me your tits!) that would land a person in jail on any other day of the year. Police tend to look the other way at most of the stuff that goes on Mardi Gras day.

The lower French Quarter is the center for Gay Mardi Gras. This is where you'll find the more extravagant costumes. People come from all over the world just to strut around in costumes of their own design. Of course, going home with a prestigious Bourbon Street Award is often the motivation for their sequined madness.
 

 

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

Although parades roll for weeks before Fat Tuesday, on the Day of Days - parades begin early in the morning with the ever popular Zulu and don't stop until the last float passes late in the night. The highlight of the parades is the toast between the King of Carnival - Rex - and the mayor of New Orleans. This is the official proclamation and beginning of Mardi Gras. During the toast, Rex gives all city workers the day off and commands everyone to have a good time.

The Carnival season is the highlight of the New Orleans social calendar. The season officially begins on Twelfth Night or "Kings Night." Many New Orleanians with artificial Christmas trees will leave them up and replace the Christmas decor with purple, gold and green ornaments. These are the official colors of Carnival. Legend has it that green represents faith; gold, power; and purple, justice. Most people believe these colors were chosen simply because they look good together.

Another Carnival tradition that begins on Twelfth Night is the King Cake. A King Cake is a ring cake decorated with sweet purple, gold and green frosting. In every King Cake there is a little plastic baby representing the baby Jesus. The person who is lucky enough to bite into the piece of King Cake with the plastic baby gets to buy the next King Cake for the next King Cake party.

 



During the Carnival season, Mardi Gras Krewes - local clubs that sponsor parades and Carnival events - hold elaborate balls and parties where their King, Queen and other Royalty are announced for the year. On its surface, the election of Royalty may seem comical. However, being chosen is a very special honor and is taken very seriously by New Orleanians. Mardi Gras Royalty are elected because of their contributions and standing in the community. Being chosen to represent a Krewe as a King or Queen is an honor that announces to the community at large that these people have made our city a better place and we recognize their hard work and dedication.

So be sure to raise your cup and toast every King and Queen! If you don't live in New Orleans, it is impossible to understand all the planning, hard work and expense that go into Carnival. Most krewes begin planning for Carnival a year or more in advance. People belonging to a krewe pay dues and spend their own money to stage their parades and to buy throws. This is not an inexpensive venture.

The average Mardi Gras krewe spends hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of donated time to parade for just a few hours. Why do it? New Orleanians love their city and you just have to ride in a Mardi Gras parade to understand the thrill of throwing stuff to a hungry crowd.
 

 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions


Although every King and Queen deserve respect, the true King of Carnival is Rex. The identity of Rex is a secret until the day before Mardi Gras. People anxiously await the announcement of the King of Carnival. Being chosen as the King of Rex is the highest honor New Orleans can bestow. The King of Rex is chosen because of his prominent standing in the community. It's a really big deal.

The Queen of Rex is always a young debutante. It's all very aristocratic. Carnival officially ends when the King and Queen of Rex meet, at midnight on Fat Tuesday, the Queen and King of Comus. When they meet, the traditional "Whenever I Cease To Love" theme is played and true New Orleanians' eyes fill with tears from memories of Mardi Gras past and the fact that they have to wait another year to have this much fun.

Once the Royalty of Comus and Rex meet, police take to the streets on horseback - followed by street sweepers - announcing that Mardi Gras is over and people should "clear the streets." By this time, most people have had enough and are ready to rest. As soon as the last parade passes, the city begins the incredible task of cleaning up. All the garbage is weighed and this is how New Orleans estimates how many people came to Mardi Gras.

 



How Mardi Gras started is not really clear. There are plenty of legends and stories about early Carnival. It's not certain which are myth and which are fact. Legend has it that the first Mardi Gras came to be because the early Christian church adopted and reformed the Roman feast of Lupercalia, a decadent three days of celebration, in order to convert the pagans. The early church renamed the holiday to "carnelevamen," meaning "farewell to the flesh."

The French coined the phrase Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday, and brought the holiday with them when they settled New Orleans. In fact, in 1699 the French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville landed near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras Day and named the plot of ground "Pointe du Mardi Gras."

Early Mardi Gras was not an organized, community event. The holiday was basically celebrated by throwing private, wild parties. After all, New Orleans was and still is a port city - and you know those sailors!

On February 24th, 1857, Mardi Gras was changed forever. This was the year that the first true Mardi Gras krewe was formed. The club called themselves the Mystick Krewe of Comus, after the Greek god of revelry. Comus began the tradition of the elaborate ball and carnival parade.

 

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

 

Over the years, many more krewes were founded. It wasn't until the 1950's, however, that the Mardi Gras we know today came into fruition.

Probably as a result of the post-war baby boom, many more carnival krewes were formed in the fifties and sixties. Ask any local and they're bound to have fond memories of riding on a float with their family. Mardi Gras became a holiday for families to celebrate and spend time with each other. Today, Mardi Gras remains a time to gather with family and friends. In fact, people are expected to open their homes to friends and family if they live within walking distance of the parades.

In New Orleans, the more family oriented carnival has moved into the suburb of Metairie. The rise in the number of krewes and the population shift to the suburbs has created, really, two distinct carnival traditions. Parades roll in New Orleans and in Metairie. The parades that roll in New Orleans are either "old line" krewes like Rex, or what have come to be known as "superkrewes." The "superkrewes" began in 1969 with the founding of Bacchus - named for the god of wine. The city was stunned by the enormous floats designed by Blaine Kern (now a world famous designer of floats and other ornaments). In addition, this krewe allowed anyone who paid dues to be a member. It didn't matter if you could trace your ancestry back to the buccaneers. The first King of Bacchus broke the most serious tradition. The King wasn't a community leader but Danny Kaye, a Hollywood star.

 



Today, Bacchus has become one of the largest and best parades in New Orleans and rolls the Sunday before Mardi Gras. Every year a different celebrity is made King and rides a special float.

The founding of Bacchus started a new tradition. Soon after the debut of this incredible parade, other superkrewes were founded. Endymion, which rolls on the Saturday night before Mardi Gras, was established in 1974. Endymion throws a party called the "Extravaganza" and tickets to this event are cherished and hard to come by. The Extravaganza is a party held in the Superdome for some 10,000 people. Entertainment is provided by some of the top names in the business. In 1995, the 1,500 member Krewe of Endymion introduced the largest Mardi Gras float ever! With the theme Welcome To The New Orleans Mardi Gras this float rolled with 150 maskers on board.

In 1994, Harry Connick Jr., a national celebrity and New Orleans native, began a new superkrewe called Orpheus that rolls on Lundi Gras - the Monday before Fat Tuesday. This Krewe has now become one of New Orleans favorites. In Metairie, the krewes that parade are usually groups of people that started clubs for their families. The parades in Metairie have become more sophisticated and larger over the years and some of them rival the best New Orleans parade. However, most of the parades in Metairie rent their floats and you tend to see the same floats (modified a little) rolling night after night. If you want to keep away from the rowdier New Orleans crowd, Metairie is a nice alternative.
 

LGBTQ Mardi Gras

New Orleans: Home of Mardi Gras

Guide to LGBTQ Mardi Gras
Travel Guide: New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras
Gay Mardi Gras History

About Mardi Gras

Video: Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Celebrating Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras Traditions

Historical Notes: Mardi Gras
Popular Mardi Gras Traditions
Mardi Gras Traditions You Need to Know About

Inside the Undiscovered Gay Mardi Gras
Video: Fabulous Gay Mardi Gras
Vintage Gay Mardi Gras Images
About Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Homepage: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney: Welcome to Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras


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