in the spotlight
Volume 21/Issue 9/2003

Thousands of Spectators Line French Quarter Streets for 4th Gay Easter Parade; Festivities Raise Over $3,000 for Food For Friends

The 4th Annual Official New Orleans Gay Easter Parade was greeted by over 5,000 spectators lining the route throughout the French Quarter Easter Sunday. This year's parade festivities profits benefited Food For Friends, raising $3,002.55 for the charity. Under the direction of NO/AIDS Task Force, Food For Friends fills the needs and stomachs of those living with HIV and AIDS through its unique delivery of more than 200 meals daily throughout New Orleans. Upwards of 71,000 meals are delivered each year. A food pantry supplements the clients' needs with nonperishable foods and personal care items.

EGMs IV Electra City
& George Simons

Led by Easter Grand Marshals IV George Simons and Electra City, the parade was presented by founder Lance Ford and Ambush Mag. The grand marshals are selected by the Gay Easter Parade Board of Directors from past parade participants who exemplify the best in the community through their support of charities, events and organizations. Simons is general manager of Le Roundup, 819 St. Louis and City is co-proprietor of Queen Fashions, 907 Bourbon St. in New Orleans and 3001 19th St. in Metairie. The board includes founder Lance Ford, producer Carl Ford and public relations Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain.

A total of 56 units participated in this year's parade, making it the largest in its 4 year history. Last year there were 39 units. The 2003 parade brought 30 carriages, 3 floats, 6 cars, 6 walking groups, 1 motorcycle club and 3 bands to the streets. The entire Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender community was represented including community organizations and churches, carnival krewes, businesses, celebrities and individuals.

It all began with the Easter Grand Marshals Coronation Bash announcing EGMs IV George Simons and Electra City, hosted at the Friendly Bar after Mardi Gras. Then it was a flurry of activities including four fund-raisers: Spring Fever, A Star Studded Benefit Gala hosted by EGM Electra City at Angles/Metairie, EPD (Easter Parade Dance) hosted by Kims 940 Night Club, 2nd Annual Super Star Studded Benefit Extravaganza hosted by the Gay Easter Parade at Cowpokes, and the Tits & Ass Gay Easter Parade Benefit hosted by the Corner Pocket. Easter Weekend brought the Purple Party Grand Marshals Reception at Chet's, the Pre-Parade Party at Ninth Circle, the Post-Parade Party at Oz, and the Grand Marshals Dinner Reception at Le Roundup.

This year's parade ran into a few problems during line-up due to the 20 minute late arrival of carriages. The parade had to roll at 4:30pm, even though the carriages arrived at 4:20pm. The board would like to apologize to the members of Church of Christ the Liberator whose carriage was taken. The board has also refunded the carriage fee to the church. The individual responsible for this unfortunate mishap has taken $210 out of the mouths of those who benefit from the services of Food For Friends. The board will post the line-up list at next year's pre-parade party and each unit will be issued a numbered entry ticket stating that unit's position in the parade.

Parade income included:
Spring Fever Benefit/Angles
Easter Parade Dance Benefit /Kims 940
Star Studded Benefit Gala/Cowpokes
Tits & Ass Benefit/Corner Pocket
Entry Fees
Bears Donation

Parade expenses included:
Carriages/EGMs IV
Sashes/EGMs IV 1
Pins/EGMs IV
Flags & Posters
Church of Christ the Liberator Carriage Refund


PROFITS benefiting Food For Friends


$ 400.00


Numerous in kind contributions were made by various businesses as well. Sponsorships included: Platinum - Queen Fashions & Pat O'Rourke/Latter & Blum; Gold - Jay Cooper & James Creech, Le Roundup, Mid-City Carriages, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain & Oz; Silver - Angles, Chet's, Corner Pocket, Cowpokes, Eclipse Band, Kims 940 Night Club, Lance V. Ford & Carl J. Ford, Friendly Bar, Ninth Circle, Quartermaster/The Nellie Deli, Tommy's On The Park Flowers; and Bronze - EGM III Timm Holt, and Tom Conners & Bob Bohler.

The 5th Annual Official New Orleans Gay Easter Parade is set for Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004, 4:30pm, beginning at Armstrong Park, N. Rampart at St. Ann Streets. For more info, visit the Official Website of the Gay Easter Parade, www.GayEasterParade.COM.


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