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What to do in New Orleans: A Series, Pt. 14 – Southern Decadence!


There is so much going on in New Orleans this Labor Day weekend (that of 08/31/18) that it can seem nearly impossible to decide what to do.  This is the fourteenth edition of a weekly series in which we here at Big Easy Magazine give suggestions on fun and meaningful ways to spend a day, evening or afternoon in our beloved city.  So let’s begin! What’s a good way to spend a weekend in New Orleans, or more specifically, what’s a meaningful way to use your time on this long weekend (that of August 31st) in the city of New Orleans?  Do not miss Southern Decadence.  This festival, started in 1972, has humble roots.  It has since grown into a huge celebration that draws people from all over the country!  Unfortunately, it comes but once a year (Labor day weekend), but it is well worth your attention!

While the weather in New Orleans this weekend is expected to be fairly hot (in the mid 80s with a good chance of thunderstorms every day), the people on the streets in the French Quarter for Southern Decadence and the festivities that are occurring within the festival are expected by many forecasters to be even hotter.  Whether you’re interested in partying hard while dancing the night away or if you’re just looking to catch a parade or two, what follows is a brief breakdown of the happenings at Southern Decadence 2018.  Be sure to also check out the official Southern Decadence website for a full schedule of events!

First off, it bears mentioning that many of the official events of Southern Decadence (particularly the nighttime ones) center around the Bourbon Pub.  Beginning on Thursday August 30th and ending on the following Monday (Labor Day) the Bourbon Pub will be open 24 hours a day!  While there are many events around the French Quarter that are “unofficial” or smaller happenings hosted by several bars, the events we’ll cover hear largely start at or end at the Pub.  Due to the release of this article being the day after the festivities begin, we’ll start with Friday the 31st.  The first show worth checking out occurs at Midnight on Friday the 31st on the second floor of the Bourbon Pub.  It is a strip off called “Boys on Parade.”   This event will be 21 and up!  A good lead up to this event would be people watching throughout the quarter but most especially along Bourbon Street.  Combine this with a bit of bar hopping and art gallery strolling to make for a more well rounded experience of the evening!

But not to worry!  Not all of Southern Decadence is 21 and up.  There are all ages welcome events as well.  Which brings us to Saturday!

Saturday the 1st at 6:30pm there will be an outdoor concert called “Bourbon Street Extravaganza.”  This show will occur at the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon streets.  It features the talents of Jeanie Tracy and many more!  Be sure to catch the pre-concert party that begins at 5:30pm on Bourbon street!  After this event there will be a 21 and up party at the Bourbon Pub called “The After Dark Party.”  This party features a talented DJ as well as many other performers!  After Dark starts at 9:30pm and lasts till dawn.  Find more information on this party here!

Sunday there will be another fantastic all ages welcome event that beings at 2pm!  The Southern Decadence Walking Parade is perhaps the most well known aspect of the festival.  It begins at the Golden Lantern on Decatur and ends at the Bourbon Pub.  Whether you are strolling in the parade or watching it roll by, be sure to take a gander at the route!

Whatever aspects of Southern Decadence you end up deciding to spend your time looking into, don’t forget to keep on drinking water! Be kind! Be New Orleans!  Make sure you also take a moment to check out the latest in our events section for more ideas on meaningful ways to spend your time in our beautiful city!

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