Media Information/Releases
FOR INQUIRIES, INTERVIEWS & PHOTOS
Contact Southern Decadence Organizer  Rip Naquin
Phone: 504.522.8049
Official Southern Decadence
828-A Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70116-3137

2016 Highlights

45th Southern Decadence Sets New Records: Over 216,000 Participants, Over $259 Million Economic Impact, Over $27,000 for Charity
(www.AmbushMag.com/is2416 see page 6)

The numbers are in for the 45th Annual Southern Decadence celebration of LGBT+ Life, Music and Culture bringing in over 216,000 participants Labor Day weekend 2016 in New Orleans. With an economic impact of a over $259 million, this will be one for the history books. The economic impact may be much more since the spending average per person is based on a very conservative $1,500. Ambush Magazine/www.SouthernDecadence.com contacted numerous businesses following the celebration to calculate attendance and economic impact through revenues, admit tickets, and customer counts. Many of the businesses were up 20 to 27% with some closer to 50% and even one at 100%.

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Jeffrey Palmquist, Tony Leggio, Felicia Phillips and Derek Penton-Robicheaux raised over $27,000 for their charities to split between New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). Funds raised $44,212.85 minus expenses $16,867.62 benefited charity raising $27,345.23.

The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest. Since 1996, the celebration has had a 1 billion, $964 million dollar economic impact on the New Orleans economy, with estimated crowds now totaling over 2 million, 156 thousand.

Southern Decadence Financial Report/2016:
2,000.00 Beginning Balance
32,012.85 Total Fundraisers
10,200.00 Total Sponsorships
44,212.85 Sub-Total

Expenses/2016
51.30 Bank Fees
166.00 SDGM Sashes
315.00 SDGM Pins
6,000.00 SDGM Costume Allowance
15.00 Secretary of State Annual Report
500.00 Parade DJ
4,339.33 Insurance
507.77 Parade Sanitation/Cleanup
1,640.00 Police Detail
182.97 SDGM Invites
50.25 Parade Permit
100.00 Parade Expense
13,867.62 Expense Subtotal
3,000.00 Bank Account Reserve
16,867.62 -Expenses

27,345.23 Grand Total for Charities: 13,672.61 NOAGE Donation, 13,672.62 ARNO Donation

45th Southern Decadence

Generous Southern Decadence Sponsors Made 45th Celebration a Huge Success with over 180,000 Participants Pumping in $200+ Million
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1916 see page 4
)

Without the help of its generous sponsors, the 45th Southern Decadence celebration of LGBT+ life, music and culture would not have been the huge success it was. The city filled as over 180,000 participants took to the streets for the 6 days of revelry running Aug. 31 through Sept. 5. While the exact numbers have not yet been tabulated since all data sources have not presented their findings, it's a sure bet this year's celebration will pump in some $200 plus million for the local New Orleans economy. The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest.

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Jeffrey Palmquist, Tony Leggio, Felicia Phillips and Derek-Penton Robicheaux extend an eternal debt of gratitude to each and every sponsor of 2016. The complete financial report will be released once all funds have been received and expenses met. All funds raised minus expenses benefits New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO).

Official Southern Decadence Sponsors include Presenting - Official Southern Guide - Ambush Magazine, Official Website of Southern Decadence- www.SouthernDecadence.com, Official Vodka of Southern Decadence -SKYY Vodka, Oz New Orleans, Broussard's Restaurant;

Platinum - Official Drink of Southern - Tropical Isle's Hand Grenade, Official Beer of Southern Decadence - Bud Light, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Gay Appreciation Awards, Crescent City Tour Booking Agency, Official Home of Southern Decadence - The Golden Lantern, Elizabeth Bouvier & Gary Vandeventer, SDGM XLII Jeffrey Palmquist & Coca J. Mesa, Just Us Lounge/Biloxi;

Gold-Bourbon Pub & Parade, GrandPre's, The Double Play, Bourbon Pride, Misti Gaither (Johnny Passion) & Catherine Gaither, Irish Channel Funding, LLC, The Cheezy Cajun, Good Friends, Phoenix, Mag's 940, John Groth II;

Silver-Four Seasons & Patio Stage Bar, Cafe Lafitte in Exile, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., Rolling Elvi Inc./Jailhouse Rockers, Dr. Mac (Robert McWhirter), The Page, Harlequeen, Rawhide 2010, The Corner Pocket;

Bronze-Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli, A*Med Ambulance Service, Cutter's; and

Pearl-Dawn Leggio, SDGM XXVII Errol Rizzuto, June Pennick, Alexis Grace, Cam Zimmerman, Bonita Folse/Solitaire, Fabulous Flowers LLC, Jay Crockett.

Keep abreast of the latest information available in Ambush Magazine, your Official Southern Decadence Guide, www.SouthernDecadence.com, your Official Southern Decadence Website, or follow Southern Decadence at  www.Facebook.com/SouthernDecadenceNOLA.

45th Southern Decadence Proclamation

Giant Official Southern Decadence Guide
Brings it all to You
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1816)


New Orleans largest LGBT+ holiday is here, and Ambush Magazine, as your Official Southern Decadence Guide, brings it all to you. With over 200,000 participants expected this year, it appears this may just be the record breaker! The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest. Since 1996, the celebration has had a 1 billion, 705 million dollar economic impact on the New Orleans economy, with estimated crowds now totaling over 1 million, 757 thousand.

There are over 100 events covering the gamut of every facet of LGBT+ life, music and culture for this 45th Annual Southern Decadence celebration. Here in this issue of Ambush you will find some 44 pages of the best events, venues, bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, hair salons, tours, real estate agents, costumes, services, and more. And to top that off, this is the largest edition of this publication in over two years, 64 pages! It's all available online including all ads at
www.AmbushMag.com/is1816.

"Decadence Takes The World"
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1816)

Are you ready for a giant celebration? Well Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Jeffrey Palmquist, Tony Leggio, Felicia Phillips and Derek-Penton Robicheaux have got one great weekend in store for you with their chosen theme "Decadence Takes The World". The colors this year are Amethyst (purple), Ruby (red), Sapphire (blue), and Pearl (white), while the official song is Ariana Grande’s “Break Free”, a creative mix by DJ JRB. The 2016 charities are New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). All funds raised minus expenses benefits these charities.

The largest event of Southern Decadence weekend is the 42nd Annual Southern Decadence Parade on Sunday, September 4 led by the grand marshals. For the first time in over 10 years the grand marshals have chosen a new parade route. The parade begins 2pm sharp at the Official Home of Southern Decadence: Golden Lantern, 1239 Royal St., then to St. Louis, right on St. Louis to N. Rampart, right on N. Rampart to Toulouse, right on Toulouse to Burgundy, left on Burgundy to Orleans, left on Orleans to N. Rampart, right on Rampart to St. Philip, right on St. Philip to Dauphine, right on Dauphine to St. Ann, left on St. Ann to Bourbon, left on Bourbon to 901 Bourbon ending at Dumaine. It includes stops at The Golden Lantern, Double Play, The Corner Pocket, The Page, 700 Club, GrandPre’s, Good Friends, Bourbon Pub, Oz, and Cafe Lafitte in Exile. (There is no fee or registration form to enter the parade. All walkers are welcome. This is a marching parade and no other motor vehicles are allowed nor are any THROWS, due to the type of City of New Orleans permitting. Please contact line-up chair Steven Mora for directions and information at stevensings@gmail.com.)

Following the parade is the 23rd Annual Official Southern Decadence Bead Toss hosted by Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLI Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. Hosted from their balcony at the Ambush Mansion, 828 Bourbon Street, the reigning grand marshals will lead the toss at 4pm ish.

For all of the events see Southern Decadence: The Whole Gay Weekend.

Another $7,704 Raised for Southern Decadence 2016 & its Charities

(www.AmbushMag.com/is1516)

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Tony Leggio, Felicia Philips, Jeffrey Palmquist and Derek-Penton Robicheaux are excited to announce that the past five fundraisers have brought in 7,704.00 and after expenses of 443.00, a total of 7,261.00 was raised for the 2016 celebration benefiting NOAGE and ARNO.

The Southern Decadence 4th of July Extravaganza hosted by Elizabeth Bouvier and Gary Vandeventer at the Chalmansion in Chalmette raised 2,200.00 minus expenses of 47.00 for a total of 2,153.00. The event brought in 675.00 in VIP tickets, 560.00 in advance tickets, 720.00 in door tickets, and 245.00 in raffles minus 47.00 in online ticket fees.

The 3rd annual Potato Salad Contest hosted by GrandPre's raised 520.00 in tasting/judging tickets minus 260.00 to the winner - Paw Paw Rippy's Kettle Potato Salad with shrimp and smoked sausage, raising a total of 260.00 for Southern Decadence.

Johnny Passion's 3rd annual Smatch Game hosted by Misti Ates Gaither (Johnny Passion) and Catherine Gaither at Allways Lounge raised 1,966.00 minus 136.00 in expenses for a total of 1,830.00. The event raised 420.00 in VIP tables, 86.00 in tips, 630.00 from auctions, 580.00 from the door, and 250.00 from A*Med Ambulance Service's Bronze sponsorship; minus expenses of 50.00 for AllWays Lounge lighting, and 86.00 in supplies/decorations.

The 2nd Southern Decadence Carnival at Tulane Ave Bar raised a total of 318.00.

The 2nd annual Southern Charm Meets Southern Decadence Soiree sponsored by SDGM XLII Jeffrey Palmquist and Coca J. Mesa held at their home has been the largest fundraiser this year bringing in a total of 2,700.00. The event raised 1,200.00 for 12 tickets in cash, 1,000.00 for 10 tickets by check, and 500.00 from Dr. Mac's (Robert McWhirter) Silver sponsorship.

Official Southern Decadence Sponsors to date include Presenting-Ambush Magazine,www.SouthernDecadence.com, SKYY Vodka;

Platinum-Bud Light, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Gay Appreciation Awards, Crescent City Tour Booking Agency, Elizabeth Bouvier & Gary Vandeventer, SDGM XLII Jeffrey Palmquist & Coca J. Mesa;

Gold-The Golden Lantern, Bourbon Pub & Parade, Misti Ates Gaither (Johnny Passion) & Catherine Gaither;

Silver-Four Seasons & Patio Stage Bar, Cafe Lafitte in Exile, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., GrandPre's, Rolling Elvi Inc./Jailhouse Rockers, Dr. Mac (Robert McWhirter);

Bronze-Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli, A*Med Ambulance Service, Tulane Ave Bar; and

Pearl-Dawn Leggio, SDGM XXVII Errol Rizzuto, June Pennick, Alexis Grace, Cam Zimmerman, Bonita Folse/Solitaire, Fabulous Flowers LLC, Jay Crockett

You to can become a sponsor of the largest LGBT celebration in Louisiana today! All funds raised minus expenses will benefit the official 2016 Southern Decadence Charities: New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO).

There are several levels of sponsorship available including $5,000 Presenting, $2,500 Platinum, $1,000 Gold, $500 Silver, $250 Bronze, and $100 Pearl. Sponsorship Form

Keep abreast of the latest information available in Ambush Magazine, your Official Southern Decadence Guide, www.SouthernDecadence.com, your Official Southern Decadence Website, or follow Southern Decadence at  www.Facebook.com/SouthernDecadenceNOLA.

45th Southern Decadence Expected to Bring in Over
200,000 Participants

(www.AmbushMag.com/is1416)

According to the most recent online data, the 45th Annual Southern Decadence Celebration of LGBT+ Life, Music & Culture is expected to bring in over 200,000 participants in 2016 with another huge economic impact around the $200,000 mark for New Orleans. From June 16-23, the official website at www.SouthernDecadence.com brought in over 197,000 impressions, while it's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthernDecadenceNOLA garnered a total reach of over 47,000 the same time period!

In 2015, the 44th Southern Decadence broke all records bringing in over 180,000 participants Labor Day weekend. With an economic impact of a whopping $216 million, this was one for the history books. The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest.

Totals from this 44th Annual Southern Decadence celebration were added to the records kept by www.SouthernDecadence.com. Since 1996, the celebration has had a 1 billion, 705 million dollar economic impact on the New Orleans economy, with estimated crowds now totaling over 1 million, 757 thousand.

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII Tony Leggio, Felicia Philips, Jeffrey Palmquist and Derek-Penton Robicheaux are leading the 2016 celebration.

Southern Decadence Grand Marshals Make it Official: "Decadence Takes The World"
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1216)

Southern Decadence Press Party & Sponsorship Drive set for June 4
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1116)

Southern Decadence Raises More $$$
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1116)

Upcoming Southern Decadence Events
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1116)
 

"Fantastic 4" - Tony Leggio, Felicia Phillips, Jeffrey Palmquist & Derek Penton-Robicheaux to Reign as 42nd Southern Decadence Grand Marshals
(www.AmbushMag.com/is1016)

Meet Your Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLII

Ambush Magazine is happy to introduce you to the Southern Decadence Grand Marshals of 2016. It is exciting to see what all of this talent will bring to the celebration!

Anthony "Tony" Leggio

Anthony "Tony" Leggio has an extensive career in the hospitality community pertaining to event production as well as promoting New Orleans around the globe. Currently Anthony works for Hosts New Orleans, the premier destination management and event planning company in New Orleans. Tony has been in the hospitality industry for over over fifteen year previously working for Mardi Gras Productions and in the Public Affairs Department of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Anthony has produced over 5,000 events locally and nationally during his tenure in the industry. He is an active member of the following organizations: Meeting Planners International (MPI), Louisiana Society of Association Executives (LSAE), National Association of Caterers and Events (NACE), New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB), and International Society of Event Specialists (ISES). He was past president of NACE and the Hospitality Education & Networking Association (HENA).

In 2002, Anthony received awards for Best Event Production and Rising Star in the Hospitality Community from the New Orleans Chapter of NACE. In 2004, he has won Rising Star of the Year and in 2005 won Supplier of the Year for MPI. He also won Best Event Production award in 2011 for ISES. In 2015, his team at Hosts New Orleans won two awards from ADMEI for the Excellence in Event Production and Best Innovative Event $50,000 and Under categories. Traveling to trade shows around the country, Anthony works diligently to promote not only his company but New Orleans as a premier destination for convention groups.

Besides his professional career, Anthony has played an active role in the community. He has served as Event Chair of Art Against AIDS for the NO/AIDS Task Force and was honored as Humanitarian of the Year in 2010 by the organization. He has worked to help produce events for other noteworthy organizations such as the Cancer Crusaders, Julia Jump, NO/AIDS Task Force, National D-Day Museum, Zoo-To Do, Gambit Weekly, the Louisiana Philharmonic, The New Orleans Ballet Association, Southern Decadence, New Orleans Museum of Art and Children’s Hospital. He sits on the Board of the Gay Easter Parade and produces the successful Bunnies in the Big Easy event annually. He is also a freelance writer who has written for USA Today, several local publications, as well as contributing writer for Ambush Magazine. Tony has a blog NOLAOnReview and is part of Gambit’s Big Easy Theatre Committee. He participates in Mardi Gras extensively and has been Captain of the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon carnival organization for three years as well as King of the organization once. He has also been a past Grand Marshal for the Gay Easter Parade in 2009 and New Orleans Pride in 2011.

Felicia Phillips

Hailing from Beaumont, Texas, Felicia Phillips is the drag persona created by Philip Palumbo, more than a few years ago. Felicia’s career in Texas includes being named Miss Gay Golden Triangle and Miss Gay Beaumont as well as several bar titles. This led to being a pageant promotor and to date the longest running show director and emcee in the city. He was actively involved in organizing many fundraisers during the beginning of the AIDS crisis and continuing through 2005.

His male career was that of a costume and theatrical makeup shop owner of over 20 years. Later becoming a general manager of the oldest gay bar in southeast Texas.

After relocating to New Orleans in 2010, he worked first as manager of Krazy Katz on Bourbon, which became Bourbon Pride, then a hotel manager until joining the staff of GrandPre’s.

After a 12 year absence from the stage Felicia returned to help as a lieutenant for Reba Douglas during Southern Decadence 2014, and has continued on with fundraising, performing, as well as gaining notoriety as The Cheese Queen, writing The Real Cheese column in Ambush Magazine.

Jeffrey Palmquist

Jeffrey Palmquist grew up in South Dakota and has been a resident of New Orleans for many years. Jeff is the co-author of two books detailing gay history and lore in the French Quarter including "In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding America's Oldest Gay Bar", and "My Gay New Orleans".

He has served as chairman of the Cafe Lafitte In Exile Red Party annual staff charity turn-a-bout since 2009, and in 2014 was named Grand Reveler 1 by the Krewe Du Rue Royal Revelers.

Jeff was Head Sally-FLY (lieutenant) for Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLI Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain and hosted his successful Southern Decadence Courtyard Soiree raising $2,650 for Southern Decadence 2015. He has also hosted various cookouts at Cafe Lafitte in Exile benefiting several charities and causes including Southern Decadence 2015.

Jeff has been a bartender at Cafe Lafitte in Exile for the past 15 years, and was voted Bartender of the Year in 2009, 2010, and 2013 by Ambush Magazine’s Annual Gay Appreciation Awards.

He and his partner of 11 years Joshua "Coca" Mesa live in the French Quarter.

Derek Penton-Robicheaux

Derek Penton-Robicheaux, is a native of Mississippi and a longtime resident of New Orleans. He is a national LGBT and local community activist, as well as a freelance contributor to multiple publications. He is a Founder and Executive Director of the Louisiana Equality Foundation. Derek and his husband, Jon Penton-Robicheaux, were legally married in Iowa on Sept. 23, 2012, and led the successful challenge to Louisiana’s same sex marriage ban as lead plaintiffs in the Federal Lawsuit, Robicheaux et al. v Caldwell et al., securing Marriage Equality here in Louisiana.

Fab 5 Will Make it Official April 28 @ Four Seasons
(www.AmbushMag.com/is916)

Who Will be Southern Decadence Grand Marshals 42?
(www.AmbushMag.com/is716)


44th Southern Decadence Breaks all Records;
Over 180,000 Raking in over $216 Million in 2015

The 44th Annual Southern Decadence celebration of LGBT+ Life, Music and Culture broke all records bringing in over 180,000 participants Labor Day weekend 2015 in New Orleans. With an economic impact of a whopping $216 million, this will be one for the history books. The economic impact may be much more since the spending average per person is based on a very conservative $1,200. The end of summer circuit weekend is the 5th largest in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest.

Totals from this 44th Annual Southern Decadence celebration have been added to the records kept by the official website, www.SouthernDecadence.com. Since 1996 the celebration has had a 1 billion, 705 million dollar economic impact on the New Orleans economy, with estimated crowds now totaling over 1 million, 757 thousand.

This year saw another first with five grand marshals leading the festivities including Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XLI Steven Mora, Rip Naquin, Marsha Delain, Misti Ates and Frankie "Fierce" Wingerter. This was also the largest parade in the history of Southern Decadence with over 1,000 participates. And funds raised minus expenses brought in the most money ever for Southern Decadence Charities at $39,347.49 for the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana preserving the past, Louisiana Equality Foundation preserving the present, and PFLAG-New Orleans Scholarship Fund preserving the future.  Visit the 2015 Highlights to catch the sensational action.

Don't miss out on the exciting 45th Annual Southern Decadence celebration Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 2016. Keep abreast of the latest information available in Ambush Magazine (Official Southern Decadence Guide).

Stay tuned here at the Official Website of Southern Decadence for all the latest, or follow Southern Decadence at  www.Facebook.com/SouthernDecadenceNOLA.

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Every Labor Day Weekend in New Orleans since 1972
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