This year’s Southern Decadence festival saw record attendance, with 160,000 revelers contributing an estimated $192 million to the local economy, organizers announced.
Held every Labor Day weekend, Southern Decadence is the fifth largest event in the city, following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest and French Quarter Fest, organizers said.
Since 1996, the celebration has had a nearly $1.5 billion economic impact on New Orleans, according to spokesman Rip Naquin.
The 40th Southern Decadence Parade also was the biggest thus far, Naquin said. Led by grand marshals Chad Boutte, Reba Douglas and Aubrey Synclaire, it had a reported 1,000 parade participants and drew 40,000 spectators along its French Quarter route.
The festival offered nearly 100 events throughout the weekend.
Funds raised benefit the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — New Orleans scholarship fund.
A complete financial report by New Orleans Southern Decadence Inc. will be released once final expenses and revenues are calculated, Naquin said.