June is Pride month.
In normal times, we would be compiling a list of all the Pride events throughout the Gulf South for our Official Pride Guide. I would be making a last-minute run to the store to buy more throws for the New Orleans Pride Parade.
Well, as we all know by now, these are not normal times. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives including how we celebrate events. In a world of social distancing, all major events in New Orleans have been canceled through the fall. This obviously includes all the June Pride events.
Just because pride celebrations have been canceled, however, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate in your own special way. Take the time this June to celebrate all the amazing work individuals and businesses in the LGBTQ community are doing.
There are many people right here in New Orleans who are volunteering for the CrescentCity.com food distribution program. There are businesses that have helped coordinate with this program to provide free meals to members of the hospitality and LGBTQ community. If you know any of the people who volunteer for this program, take the time to drop them a note of thanks. Several of the volunteers are currently unemployed themselves and a word of thanks would go a long way.
Now would also be a good time to reach out to friends in the community to simply see how they are doing and if they need any assistance. Some friends may need someone to make a trip to the store for them while others may simply need some social interaction. It’s always nice to get an unexpected phone call or text message from a friend. Not everyone is equipped to handle isolation so having to quarantine and be socially distant can be a challenge. Take this opportunity to be a friend and make sure everyone in your social circle has everything they need, especially emotionally.
SOUTHERN DECADENCE 2020
We at Ambush have been getting questions from people all over the country about Southern Decadence. Obviously, the most asked question is will Decadence be canceled this year. Hopefully, I can give you some insight on what Southern Decadence is and how it’s organized.
The first thing you need to know is that every year there is a member (1 or more) of the community chosen as Grand Marshal(s). The Grand Marshal(s) are in charge of the Southern Decadence parade which is always the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The Parade requires permits from the City and, obviously, this year there will be no parade.
In many ways, however, Southern Decadence is like Mardi Gras in that it is a weekend full of parties and events, many of which are held at private residences, local bars, and hotels. These private parties and events don’t need any permits and can happen within whatever guidelines the City has put forth as they relate to large gatherings of people.
I can tell you that if bars and restaurants are open for business, there will be Southern Decadence in some form. People will come to New Orleans from all over the country to enjoy Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter.
That being said, I can tell you that we at Ambush have begun preliminary conversations with the City to keep the LGBTQ community informed as things change and develop as they pertain to the guidelines. We want to make sure that all businesses that are open know what the current guidelines are so that everyone can feel comfortable being out and about in the French Quarter. As we get closer to Labor Day weekend we will continue to keep you updated. Until then, stay safe!
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
As we continue to operate in phase one and move closer to phase two of the COVID-19 rules of engagement, several of our advertisers are open for business and could use your support. Restaurants Mona Lisa in the French Quarter, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen Uptown, and Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop in Metairie are open for dine-in and take-out. Who Dat Coffee Cafe in the Marigny is also open for business.
The only gay bar in the Quarter with food is Betty’s Bar & Bistro and it is currently open for dine-in and take-out. As a bar with food, Betty’s has to operate as a restaurant in phase one so you can order alcohol with a food purchase. Other advertisers who are open and would appreciate your support are CrescentCare, Access Health Louisiana, and Mumfrey’s Pharmacy in Chalmette. And, last but certainly not least, if you’re in Gulfport, Mississippi, our friends at the reopened Sipps Bar would love to see you.