New Orleans Pride kicks off Friday, June 7, bringing pool parties, balls, pop-up lesbian bars, and generally speaking, a gay old time to one of the country’s oldest queer meccas.
The weekend culminates with a parade that rolls at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 8. Themed “One CommUNITY,” it features more than 60 marching groups and more than 24 floats, plus a slew of themed bicycles, scooters, and other vehicles.
Family-friendly viewing areas can be found in Jackson Square, and Good Friends Bar, Oz New Orleans, and Bourbon Pub and Parade all have good balcony views of the procession.
Before the parade, The Phoenix (941 Elysian Fields Avenue) hosts Pridefest, a free block party celebration featuring a performance by bounce artist Big Freedia. The party starts at noon on Saturday, June 8 and wraps up at 5 p.m.
The parade departs from Washington Square Park (700 Elysian Fields Avenue) at 7:30 p.m. After heading down Frenchmen Street toward the river, participants will make a right on Decatur Street, a right on Canal Street, a right on Rampart Street, and a right on St. Ann Street. The parade disperses around the French Market.
While the City of New Orleans has not released an official road closure announcement, it’s best to avoid the following high-traffic areas if driving:
- Frenchmen Street between Royal and Decatur streets
- Decatur Street between Esplanade Avenue and Canal Street
- Canal Street between Magazine and Burgundy streets
- Burgundy between Canal and Conti streets
- Conti Street between Burgundy and Bourbon streets
- Bourbon Street from Canal to Esplanade Avenue
How to get there
During the parade, walking or biking is your best bet. Driving is a possibility, but parking will be limited.
On public transit, the easiest way to get to the start of the parade at Washington Square Park is to take the North Rampart Streetcar toward Elysian Fields Avenue. At the Elysian Fields Avenue stop, take the Avenue towards the river until you get to Washington Square (about three blocks).
The North Rampart Streetcar line is also three blocks from the parade at its St Ann stops. From those stops, head three blocks toward Bourbon Street (away from Louis Armstrong Park) to get to the parade.