by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com
SDGM XXVII Errol Rizzuto Leads Longest
SD Parade In History
The 28th Southern Decadence [SD] phenomenon culminated Sunday of Labor Day weekend with the longest SD Parade in history. SD Grand Marshal [SDGM] XXVII Errol Rizzuto led the Parade followed by thousands of participants. The unusual route with stops throughout the French Quarter, and performances at practically every stop, added to the length of this year's parade.
Rizzuto's Parade has been compared by many to SDGM XXII Alain's Parade in 1994. Revelers were treated to an entertainment spectacle by Rizzutto, both in the streets and in the clubs. He kept the tempo and excitement moving throughout the day with his Dark Lady Tour: Dissidents of Decadence. However, many local revelers would not be upset if they never heard Rizzuto's rendition of Cher's Dark Lady again. Just kidding Errol!
The Southern Decadence Grand Marshal's entourage with some 16 courtesans arrived at Rubyfruit Jungle via Rizzuto's super stretch white limousine. The group, led by Rizzuto on foot, left at 1:30pm for the short walk over to Lucille's Golden Lantern, corner of Royal and Barracks for the official start of the 28th Southern Decadence Parade. The Parade left the Lantern at 2:10pm heading over to MRB on St. Philip St. From there it was down Decatur to Dumaine and over to Cafe Lafitte In Exile at Dumaine and Bourbon. Following Dumaine to N. Rampart, the Parade went against traffic landing at Wolfendale's.
Rizzuto sneaked out to his limo for a brief break. He led the Parade via the limo's sun roof sending the crowd to Voodoo at Congo Square. It was the first time a Grand Marshal has ever ridden to any destination. Traveling against traffic on Orleans, Rizzuto left his limo and dashed into Voodoo. From there it was a short distance down N. Rampart against traffic to Footloose. At this point a rainstorm developed and Rizzuto took to the stage doing a medley of Cher hits on the Footloose stage.
Then it was down St. Peter against traffic to Tyler's. From there it was against traffic on Burgundy on over to the Corner Pocket on St. Louis. Traveling up St. Louis to the Double Play and Roundup, the Parade ended up on Bourbon. Heading away from Canal, the first stop on Bourbon was the Tricou House, then on down to Oz for another Cher performance center stage.
From Oz, Rizzuto arrived at Ambush Headquarters at 5:40pm for the annual Official Southern Decadence Grand Marshal's Bead Toss. Rizzuto led his entourage of courtesans tossing over 2,000 black and silver beads, and some 500 commemorative cups to thousands of revelers below.
Then it was off to the annual Grand Marshal's BBQ at MRB, then back past Bourbon to Good Friends and Rawhide on St. Ann.
SD Projections Unconfirmed
Over 70,000 revelers with a 35 million dollar impact on New Orleans was projected for the giant Southern Decadence holiday. Ambush contacted the Mayor's Office: Department of Economic Development, New Orleans Tourist and Convention Bureau, and the New Orleans Police Department to confirm the projections. The Mayor's Office and the New Orleans Police Department did not have available data at press time. Ambush did, however, learn that the New Orleans Tourist and Convention Bureau does not track the Southern Decadence holiday. Why?
Last year, over 60,000 revelers with a $30 million impact was reported in the local press. After contacting area businesses, including hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and the service related industries, Ambush learned that all of the businesses contacted were up between 15 and 40 per cent in revenues for the 1999 holiday weekend. Businesses also reported a tremendous increase in the crowds over the '98 holiday. This would lead Ambush to believe that the projections of 70,000 revelers with an economic impact of some $35 million would indeed be correct.
Southern Decadence ranks up there with Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and Essence Fest as one of the largest events generating millions of dollars for the economic growth of greater New Orleans.
Visit southerndecadence.com for the latest and watch for the 99 SD Video.
SD Drag Show Brings Out 16 Visions
The Annual Southern Drag Show hosted at Lucille's Golden Lantern brought 16 visions of loveliness to the stage Sept. 3. Society Page's Regina Ann kicked off the show exposing her voluptuous stacks which proved to be a real crowd pleaser.
The standing room only crowd was treated to the talents of Voodoo's Sheba Fredricks, Footloose's Connie Marcelle, Clorox Bleachman, Footloose's TT, Miss Lower Quarter Lantern Trash Berta, Dione Larico, Sid Lamb, Trixie Delight, Carla Wild, Marleka, White Margaret, Miss Trailer Park Hattie One Tomany, SDGM XV Olive, SDGM XXVII Errol Rizzuto and Veronica.
SDGM XXVII Errol welcomed revelers to the Dark Lady Tour: Dissidents of Decadence weekend. Trixie Delight stole the show earlier with Shania Twain's "Feel Like A Woman" getting "we want more" from the audience. This performance was so much better than her last since she brought an empty CD case to the last Lantern show. SDGM Errol was not to be outdone doin' his Cher medley bringing multiple call backs to the stage by SD revelers.
SD Survivors Underwear Bar Run
The 3rd Annual Southern Decadence Survivors Underwear Bar Run kicked off at 11am Labor Day at the Corner Pocket. DB Carnes brought in some gourmet Krystals to help the early risers maintain.
Then cruise director Ted of Golden Lantern fame arrived and distributed his garbage bag of goodies: black bras, slips, teddies and other women's black undergarments. Ted's biggest problem was finding some that would fit the large number of jumbo petites in the crowd. Once this chore was accomplished the gang was off and running.
First on the agenda was Footloose, then Voodoo, TT's and the Phoenix, ending up at Lucille's Golden Lantern. This was quite a feat considering all these lovelies had such giant SD hangovers!
Jessica Daniels To Crown
New Miss Gay Louisiana America
Miss Gay Louisiana America Jessica Daniels will crown Miss Gay Louisiana America 2000 in Alexandria Sept. 19. This year's pageant returns to Unique Bar & Lounge for the second time at 1919 N. MacArthur Dr. Preliminary nights of competition begin at 6pm Sept. 17 and 18. Final night and crowning ceremony begins 6pm Sept. 19.
The winner and first runner-up will represent Louisiana in the Miss Gay America Pageant.
Miss Gay America Linda Carrero will just be one of the featured guests at this year's pageant.
Host hotel is the MacArthur Inn right next door to the Unique. Call 318.443.2561 and tell them you're with the Miss Gay Louisiana America Pageant. Rooms are going fast, so make your reservations early. For more information, contact Unique Bar & Lounge, 318.448.0555.
8th High Heel Pool Tourney
The 8th Annual Charity High Heel Pool Tournament raised a whopping $4,365 for area charities. Produced by New Orleans Sports For AIDS, the annual tournament is sponsored by Ambush Mag and Miller Lite.
Teams hail from various bars raising dollars for their favorite charity. Each team member must wear high heels for tourney play. Each host bar chooses a theme for their week's tourney play. Money is raised through shows, weekly raffles, team entry fees and $500 is donated yearly by Ambush. Watch for details on the year 2000 tournament. All bars are invited to participate and have fun making a difference for their favorite charity.
The Friendly Bar took 1st Place this year raising $1,091 for Buzzy's Boys & Girls. Second Place went to Footloose raising $875 for Brotherhood, Inc./Trinity House. Third Place was Big Daddy's raising $655 for Charity Hospital/C-100.
The final four places raised $436 for each charity including Fourth Place 4 Seasons playing for Project Lazarus, 5th Place Lafitte's playing for The Living Room, 6th Place Angles playing for Food For Friends and 7th Place Another Corner playing for Belle Reve.
Calling All Past Pride Grand Marshals
PrideFest '99 wants to honor all past Pride Grand Marshals. The Mint is hosting Platinum Pride: Honoring All Past Grand Marshals kicking off Pride Week Monday, Sept. 20. A $5 donation benefiting PrideFest, gets you free drinks and refreshments 7-10pm, 940 Elysian Fields.
Additionally, all past Pride Grand Marshals are invited to the Grand Marshal's Parade Reviewing stand hosted by Ambush. The Grand Marshals will view the 1999 20th Anniversary Parade Sat., Sept. 25th from the Ambush Headquarters balcony at 828 Bourbon St.
All past Pride Grand Marshals are urged to contact Rip or Marsha Naquin-Delain at 504.522.8047 for details. The past grand marshals will receive Pride VIP passes at the reviewing stand good for entry at PrideFest '99, Armstrong Park, adjacent to the French Quarter, Sept. 25 and 26.
Just A Note from Sonny C
A great many of you have been calling and asking friends of mine as to where I have been and have heard that I am ill so I just wanted to drop a few lines as to what is going on. I have been diagnosed recently with a 4 month old mass in my chest that is suspected to be cancerous.
I have been put through tons of testing to find out more about it. I just had a biopsy and am still awaiting results as to if it is malignant or benign and if I will have to undergo Chemo or surgery. I will keep you all updated as to the goings on as things progress.
I am a little scared at this point but the doctors seem to feel pretty optimistic from what they have been telling me. I will see you all at this year's Gay PrideFest '99 at Armstrong Park for which I have been helping to organize as Co-Chair/Director. I am doing OK other than some pain and discomfort which is being taken care of with a little help from pain killers.
Anyway I wanted to update you all and say that I love you all and can't wait to get out on rollerblades and be amongst you again.
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