This, of course, leave Monday - Labor Day - for recovery.
Southern Decadence now draws more than 100,000 folks to New Orleans every year - and despite Hurricane Katrina squashing the big events, a rag-tag bunch still wandered about the French Quarter on Sunday, September 5th in their own version of the parade.
This year, we started hearing buzz about a new entry in the parade.
A Gay Marching Band.
Really, what could be more fabulous?
- 9 Lesbians playing bass drum
- 112 piccolo players
- 53 color guard
- and 26 queens fighting to be Drum Major(ette)
We could not have been more wrong - and all jokes aside, they were sensational.
The group - Lesbian & Gay Band Association - is in New Orleans this weekend for their annual national conference, and offered to play in the parade. Nearly 200 strong, they had a huge brass section, lots of percussion and woodwinds - and to be fair, only 3 drum majors, 5 flags and 7 piccolo players. (There were several lesbians playing drums...)
This is Paloma - one of the Grand Marshall's for 2008 and 2009. She and her co-Marshall, Tittie Toulouse, reigned again this year after not having the chance to fulfill their duties last year. Paloma is so sweet, photographs really well and can walk in killer shoes - but let's just say that lipsynching is not her strong suit...
It was a wonderful parade - and despite some very heavy downpours, the timing for the parade was perfect.
There is a lot about Southern Decadence that gets less than flattering press...
So, the Beau and I were both a little misty-eyed with pride when the band came by - at a time when horrible things are being said about gays and lesbians here and around the world, it was so very important to see them.
Just people. Making music. Making other people happy.
Is there a better gift?