Southern Decadence started forty-eight years ago as a simple going-away party. As a top gay Labor Day Weekend destination, it has evolved into one of our world's major annual events. It is one of the largest annual celebrations and festivals in New Orleans, and has become known as the "Gay Mardi Gras." People begin to arrive on the Wednesday before Labor Day, and generally don't even think about stopping or going home until the following Tuesday.
Attendance in 2018 broke all records, with over 250,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants, and an economic impact estimated to be in excess of $275 million. Southern Decadence is one of the top five annual events in the City of New Orleans, along with Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Festival, and French Quarter Festival. As Liberace once said, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful."