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Volume 20/Issue 19/2002
Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Decadence Breaks Records: 110,000 Revelers, $88 Million Economic Impact

The 31st Southern Decadence cel-ebration broke records bringing an estimated 110,000 revelers including visitors and locals. The economic impact on the City is believed to be in the neighborhood of $88 million, based on a conservative spending average of $800 per person. The holiday weekend has turned into a holiday week. While many visitors arrived in New Orleans Wed., Aug. 28 staying though Tues., Sept. 3, others arrived Thurs., Aug. 27 staying through Wed., Sept. 4, and still others arrived Fri., Aug. 30 staying through Mon., Sept. 2.

In the week prior to Southern Decadence, SouthernDecadence.COM brought in a record 156,000 unique visitors to the original and only Official Website of Southern Decadence in New Orleans since 1995.

Ambush contacted some 50 businesses following the holiday to find that business was up in the majority of cases, between 10-37%. Overall it is believed that 2002 saw a 10% increase over 2001. Not only were revenues up, but attendance was up as well.

This publication flew off the shelves of distribution points throughout the city. Even though Ambush put an additional 2,000 editions out in New Orleans, the mag's number one distribution point, Dance Club & Show Bar of the Year, Oz, 800 Bourbon St., went through 3,600 copies before 5pm on Sat., Aug. 31. Most other distribution points were out of Ambush by Sun., Sept. 1 or Mon., Sept. 2. This has never happened before in the Crescent City. Congrats to Oz on being voted the #1 Best Gay Bar in the recent Gambit's readers pool.

Leather Bar of the Year, The Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields, hosted the largest Leather Decadence Block Party on Sat., Aug. 31 that it's ever seen. Attendance was way up over previous years.

Decadence is not just for men anymore, it's becoming a hot destination for women as well. Kims 940 Nightclub and Guest House, 940 Elysian Fields, Home of Womens Decadence, saw some 1,500 women pass through its doors Thurs., Aug. 29-Sun., Sept. 1. Congrats are in order for Kims 940 also. Kims was voted the #2 Best New Club in the recent Gambit's readers poll, with Club 360, #2 Canal St., taking top honors.

Although business was up for most clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, shops and services, several guest house/b&bs saw a marked decline this year. Lower mainstream hotel rates are believed to be responsible for this trend.

However, Ambush saw a 30% jump in advertising revenues this year from mainstream Gay friendly businesses and services.

Southern Decadence XXXII is set for Wed., Aug. 27-Mon., Sept. 1, 2003.

One of the best groups in the Southern Decadence 2002 Parade: Queens of Da West Nile "Our Bite is Such Delite" who chanted along the route, "They call me Ms. Cleo, Queen of da West Nile, When I bite & suck you, I'm gonna make you smile, Some think that I'm a bitch, Some say I'm a Diva, Until they come down with my West Nile Fevah. But unlike that mosquito, who makes you sweat & cough, I swell up your libido & help you to get OFF!!


New Orleans Dyke March Kicks Off Pride Weekend Sept. 27

Celebrating its 5th year anniversary, the New Orleans Dyke March has a busy listing of events for the month of September, leading up to the Dyke March and Dykestravaganza After Party on the 27th of the month, kicking off New Orleans’ Gay Pride weekend.

The next meeting will by Mon., Sept. 23rd at 7pm at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans, 2114 Decatur St. Women interested in helping to organize the march and other activities are encouraged to attend.

Two marshal training sessions remain, of which, all march marshals must attend one. Marshals are an important part of the Dyke March, helping to direct the flow of traffic and keep the peace. Marshal training sessions will be: Thurs., Sept. 19th at 7pm and Sun., Sept. 22nd, at 2pm, at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Both will last about an hour.

Other events include:

—Friday, Sept. 27th, 7pm - PRE-MARCH RALLY, Jackson Square. Meet on the corner of St. Ann and Chartres in the Square for drumming, fire-performances and other pre-march festivities.

—Friday, Sept. 27th, 8pm - 5TH ANNUAL NEW ORLEANS DYKE MARCH! Steps off from Jackson Square and routes through the French Quarter, ending at the Whirling Dervish on Decatur St. All those who identify as dykes are welcome to march with us; supporters are asked to line the route and cheer us on!

—Friday, Sept. 27th, 9pm - DYKESTRAVAGANZA: DYKE MARCH AFTER PARTY, Whirling Dervish (1135 Decatur Street, next to Cafe Angeli). 2 floors, 2 DJs - St. Blaize from Dallas downstairs and MAGS from NOLA upstairs in the lounge! Go-Go Dancers, Kissing Booth, Celebrity Guests! $3-20 sliding scale donation at the door (no dyke turned away). 18 and over. Arguably the biggest dyke blowout of the year!

—Saturday, Sept. 28th, 9pm - Offering something special for women during Gay Pride weekend, the Dyke March Committee and Girl Gang Productions present: BITCH AND ANIMAL LIVE!! at Mama’s Blues, 614 N. Rampart St. in the French Quarter. From touring with Ani DiFranco to standing ovations at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, Brooklyn-based duo Bitch and Animal (www.bitchandanimal.com) are ON FIRE and will be celebrating Gay Pride weekend with us, offering this benefit performance to raise funds for the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of New Orleans. More info forthcoming at www.girlgangproductions.com.

For further info and updates visit www.dykemarchnola.com.


New Orleans Celebrates Pride Fest Sept. 27-29

New Orleans will celebrate its 2002 GLBT Pride Festival Fri.-Sun., Sept. 27-29. Kims 940 Nightclub & Guest House is sponsoring the Proud 2 B Me River Cruise Fri., Sept. 27 on the John J. Audubon. Boarding is at 9:30pm, departing at 10pm. The cruise includes a dinner buffet and live DJ.

The festival itself is Sat.-Sun., Sept. 28-29 at Armstrong Park, 10am-6pm. The Parade rolls through the streets of the French Quarter on Sat., Sept. 28, 12:45pm.


Forum Issues Endorsements

The Forum For Equality is a political action committee and civil rights organization dedicated to the establishment of a society free from discrimination and to the support of good government. We believe that the fastest and most efficient way to achieve these goals is to constructively participate in the political process.

The Forum For Equality has endorsed the following candidates: Mary Landrieu - U.S. Senate; Dale Atkins - District Attorney Eddie Jordan - District Attorney; Sidney Cates - Court of Appeal, Division A; Ed Lombard - Court of Appeal, Division A; Leon Cannizzaro - Court of Appeal, Division B; Clara Toombs - Court of Appeal, Division H;

Herbert Cade - Civil District Court, Division K; Mavis Early - Civil District Court, Division K; Patrick Quinlan - Criminal District Court, Section B; Harry S. Tervalon - Criminal District Court, Section C; Dennis Waldron - Criminal District Court, Section F; Tim McElroy - Criminal District Court, Section J; Gerard J. Hansen - Magistrate;

Ernestine Gray - Juvenile Court, Section A; Sherry Watters - Juvenile Court, Section A; Larry Lagarde, Jr. - Juvenile Court, Section D; Gasper Schiro - Register of Conveyances; Marie Bookman - Municipal Court; and Lambert C. Boissiere, III - Constable 1st City Court.

The Forum For Equality has been in existence since 1989, issuing endorsements in all elections, participating in governmental reform efforts, and working to pass legislation at the local, state, and national level.


Halloween Festivities Set at Oz/New Orleans

Celebrate Halloween in New Orleans and party with the spooks, ghouls, freaks and monsters at Oz (the only official host bar of Halloween XIX) all weekend long!! Johnny Chisholm and Oz’s weekend of festivities "The Queen of the Damned" begin Thurs., Oct. 24 and won’t stop until Sun., Oct. 27 is just a memory!!

Mark your calendars, and get ready. Here is just a sampling of what to expect during Halloween at Oz! Thurs., Oct. 24, join the magnificent Blanche deBris as she hosts the Oz Calendar Boy contest. Be there to cheer for the most beautiful guy in the club — he might just win up to $500 and a chance to appear in the Oz calendar. And don’t forget, all through the weekend, beautiful boys will be dancing on the bartops at Oz.

Fri., Oct. 25, DJ Abel takes over the booth and the turntables at Oz for a late night dance fest that is guaranteed to be totally FIERCE!!

Sat., Oct. 26, after the "official" Halloween in New Orleans party, head over to Oz for the ONLY official after-party with mesmerizing sounds provided by DJ Joe Gauthreaux. This party starts late and keeps going and going and going!

But that’s not all!! Sun., Oct. 27, DJ Manny Lehman is back at Oz for an evening you won’t soon forget! PLUS!! Oz in-house DJs Tim Pflueger, Tedd Elison and Mary Pappas will be rounding out the weekend and keeping you on your feet.

Oz weekend passes, valid Thursday through Sunday, are on sale on-line at www.ozneworleans.com/orderform.htm for $60. Pass-holders enjoy a special express entrance, with no waiting in long lines to get in! Last year, the Oz Halloween Weekend Passes sold out, if you want to be sure to get one, order yours today!!

If you would like to receive your passes by mail, place your on-line order by Sun., Oct. 13.

Orders placed between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21 will be held in "will-call" at Oz beginning Thurs., Oct. 24 between noon and midnight. No on-line or advance orders will be accepted after Oct. 21. You must present a valid photo ID to claim will call items.

For more information or to purchase Oz Halloween weekend passes, visit www.ozneworleans.com or call 504.592.8200 (9am-5pm, CST).

For more information about Halloween in New Orleans, visit www.HalloweenInNewOrleans.com.

Oz weekend passes are only valid at Oz.


Jefferson SPCA Pet Fest Set

Jefferson SPCA’s seventh annual Pet Fest is Sat., Sept. 28 from 10am to 6pm. The event, held at the facility shared by the Jefferson SPCA and the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter, is at #1 Humane Way in Harahan off Clearview and the Earhart Expressway. Party with your pet! There will be games, contests, food, music, booths, celebrities and more!

You can risk a little on a raffle, dance with your dog, cater to your cat, shop ‘til you drop, sip some suds, compete in contests, feast on favorite foods, dally at the demos and even pick a new pet!

So dress your dog, gather the family, grab a lawn chair and head to the Jefferson SPCA for Pet Fest 2002. You’ll have a dog-gone good time at a purr-fectly delightful party while supporting your "pet" charity. All pets must sport current rabies tags and be on a leash and you must clean up after your pet. Visit our web site at www.jspca.org, fax us at 504. 734.7591 or call 504.733.7387 for a map and more details.

Proceeds from the festival benefit Jefferson SPCA’s community programs and services. JSPCA works to reduce pet overpopulation and to promote responsible pet ownership through humane education and spay and neuter programs. Support your local humane society, the Jefferson SPCA.

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