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New Orleans shows its colors at the 48th Southern Decadence parade

Countess C. Alice leads the 48th annual Southern Decadence parade down Royal Street on September 1, 2019. This year's theme was

Countess C. Alice leads the 48th annual Southern Decadence parade down Royal Street on September 1, 2019. This year's theme was "Fruit Salad: Come Toss A Good Time." Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Countess C. Alice leads the 48th annual Southern Decadence parade down Royal Street on September 1, 2019. This year's theme was "Fruit Salad: Come Toss A Good Time." Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

Countess C. Alice leads the 48th annual Southern Decadence parade down Royal Street on September 1, 2019. This year's theme was "Fruit Salad: Come Toss A Good Time." Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

New Orleans shows its colors at the 48th Southern Decadence parade

September 7, 2019

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  • Southern Decadence parade walkers carry a rainbow banner through Royal Street for the 48th annual parade on September 1, 2019. Festival organizers confirm that New Orleans hotels were booked with nearly 300,000 visitors for the four-day event. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

  • A walker strolls down Royal Street in her costume for Southern Decadence on September 1, 2019. The parade has been touted as the "Gay Mardi Gras," for it's promotion of LGBTQ culture and support for LGBTQ issues. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

  • A cloud of rainbow confetti showers spectators on Royal Street at the 48th Southern Decadence parade on September 1, 2019. The parade ends a four-day celebration of LGBTQ culture. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

  • Countess C. Alice leads the 48th annual Southern Decadence parade down Royal Street on September 1, 2019. This year's theme was "Fruit Salad: Come Toss A Good Time." Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

  • A dance krewe lines up for their routine in the Southern Decadence parade on September 1, 2019. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

  • Actor Jeff Goldblum waves to a festival go-er after the Southern Decadence parade on September 1, 2019. Photo credit: Andres Fuentes

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For nearly half a century on every Sunday before Labor Day, Royal Street blossomed from its usual French-Spanish façade to a sea of vintage dresses, wacky wigs, colorful costumes and a sea of rainbow.

And it was no different on Sept. 1, 2019.

The 48th Southern Decadence parade kicked off with the same prideful song and dance. New Orleans welcomed nearly 300,000 guests that came down to boogie in the streets, celebrate their sexuality and be a voice for LGTBQ rights.

“I see (festival goers) enjoy themselves and letting their head down,” Jennifer Jones said.

Jones attended the first ever Southern Decadence, when the celebration was just a parade in the French Quarter and not a four-day extravaganza.

“It’s an experience for me to still be able to appreciate it,” she said. “The difference (between now and then) is amazing, how the community has rallied together, has come together to support each other so that they can live a quality life.”

This year’s theme was “Fruit Salad: Come Toss A Good Time” and the official colors were polka dots and pinstripes. Organizers challenged festival goers to wear costumes and outfits with that inspiration in mind.

“From the beginning until now, so many decades later, they have grown and expanded,”Jones said.

Through the years, the festival has changed and adapted but the message has always been the same.

She said, “Support people, support each other. That’s the lesson to be learned here. Sometimes, all people need is a hand up. We are all not important. We are all not perfect.”

 

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