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Preview: Southern Decadence 

Will Coviello breaks down all the dances, drag shows, contests and official parade

click to enlarge Grand marshals Tami Tarmac and Venus Santiago

Grand marshals Tami Tarmac and Venus Santiago

  Southern Decadence is comprised of officially organized events, bar hopping and revelry in the streets of the French Quarter and theme parties at bars throughout downtown. The official website ( has a long list of events, happy hours, block parties, pool parties, contests (for dancing, "Miss High Hair," various body parts), drag shows featuring Miss Gay America 2010 Coco Montrese, meet-and-greets with porn bloggers and porn stars, "queeraoke," brunches and more. There are events for bears, leather fetishists, divas and other niche communities and Dykeadence events for lesbians and transgender attendees. Below are some of the traditional features of the weekend.

Grand marshals

Grand marshals Tami Tarmac and Venus Santiago preside over official events. They have chosen fuchsia pink, tangerine and gold as official colors. Pitbull and Christina Aguilera's "Feel this Moment" is their official song and they designated the assisted living home Belle Reve as their official charity.

Southern Decadence block party

The Phoenix (941 Elysian Fields Ave., 504-945-9264; hosts block parties from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Grand Marshals drag show

The Golden Lantern (1239 Royal St., 504-529-2860; bar is home to the Grand Marshals Drag Show at 11 p.m. Friday. The event features current and past grand marshals.

Bourbon Street Extravaganza

Napoleon's Itch (734 Bourbon St., 504-237-4144; sponsors a free outdoor concert at 5 p.m. Saturday on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets.

Decadence parade

The grand marshals lead the 39th annual Decadence parade beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. The procession features drag queens, leatherwear, the nearly naked and satirically costumed individuals and groups. The parade starts at the Golden Lantern and winds its way through the French Quarter, generally dispersing into the crowds as it reaches the blocks around Bourbon and Dauphine streets at St. Ann Street.

Southern Decadence Bead Toss

Following the parade, Ambush magazine holds its 20th annual Bourbon Street Bead Toss from the balcony above the magazine's offices (828 Bourbon St.).

Survivors Outer Loop Bar Crawl

Beginning at 2 p.m. Monday, the bar crawl visits bars on North Rampart Street, which concludes with a barbecue at Michael's on the Park.


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  • Titus Andronicus @ The AllWays Lounge & Theater
    2240 St. Claude Ave.

    • Fri., Oct. 20, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 21, 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 22, 8 p.m., Thu., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Fri., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., Sat., Oct. 28, 8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 29, 8 p.m., Fri., Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 4, 8 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 5, 8 p.m.
  • Ballet Hispanico @ Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
    1419 Basin St.

    • Sat., Oct. 21
  • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge
    2239 St. Claude Ave.

    • First Saturday of every month

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