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Southern Decadence Rocks The French Quarter

Minority GroupsMardi GrasLabor Day

Southern Decadence is cruising into its last big night in the French Quarter. ABC26 News Reporter Vanessa Bolano checks it out.

It's a long weekend of skin, leather and feathered boas in the French Quarter as thousands gather to celebrate Southern Decadence.

For Amber Evans of Nashville, TN it's her first time visiting New Orleans. "I've seen a lot of stuff in New Orleans that I've never seen before."

Decadence, dubbed "The gay Mardi Gras," has turned into one of the largest gay and lesbian Labor Day weekend destinations, and this year is no different.

Whether you're here to make a love connection, or just sight seeing, it seems like everyone is having a good time.

Hillary Hebert from Uptown says she's not gay, but she comes to Decadence anyways. "I am so glad that our community can be this accepting of this wonderful population and segment of our society."

"It's wonderful. I've actually noticed that there's a lot of security," says Alexander Vargas who flew in from San Antonio, TX for his tenth Decadence, "The city has done a lot to welcome our diverse culture and local culture, and they've welcomed us into the city, and we've been adding to the economy, so we're having a great time."

Sunday's festivities kicked off with a parade that eventually ended up at the Bourbon Pub. Owner Sandy Sachs says, "New Orleans is just really on this great roll right now so people want to come down here. It's like they want to see what it's all about."

Sachs says this year business is up 15 to 20%. "People are here to have fun. They're here to let loose and we've had a few of the bible thumpers, but they just make it more interesting."

Southern Decadence wraps up Monday. Event organizers expected more than 100,000 people to participate in this year's Decadence events.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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