New Orleans

The Ultimate Guide to 2022 LGBTQIA+ Pride Events in New Orleans

There's a reason we have one of the fastest growing Pride celebrations in the nation.

Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.

Get your rainbow attire, glitter, jock straps, harnesses, or whatever makes you feel fab-and get ready for an unforgettable time. Pride Month is all of June and there are activities throughout the next 30 days. But, this year, New Orleans Pride weekend is from Thursday, June 9 through Sunday, June 12.

There is so much to do and so much to see over the next few weeks. So, get ready to feast your eyes on all kinds of imaginative outfits and fill your soul with LGBTQIA+ community building. Most of the activities will take place in and around the French Quarter. Follow #PrideNewOrleans to keep up to date with all the happenings and see what all the other revellers are up to.

Catch some beads at the big parade

The New Orleans Pride Parade takes place on June 11th in the Marigny and the French Quarter. The parade begins near Phoenix Bar at 6 pm, but be sure to arrive at least half an hour earlier if you want a good spot to catch the best beads and throws.

The parade travels down Elysian Fields Avenue and by Washington Square Park, then traverses the popular part of Frenchmen Street, as it crosses Esplanade Avenue and goes down Decatur Street all the way to the edge of the French Quarter, up St. Louis Street and continues down Bourbon Street, finishing up at the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann Street.

Urban South Brewery
Urban South Brewery
Urban South Brewery

Go gay bar-hopping around town

On June 4th, Urban South Brewery is hosting their annual pride party from 2 to 8 pm. There will be drag shows by Fabigail Tchoupitoulas, Laveau Contraire, and Tarah Cards, pop-up shops like Fringe & Co, and food by Urban Smash and Hatch & Harvest. DJ Liz Owens will be spinning tunes.
During Pride Weekend, Good Friends Bar is hosting multiple events including an animal print party on June 10 and a 24-hour-plus Hoe-Down-cowperson gear is appreciated-starting Sunday, June 12 at 7 pm that goes until 8 pm Monday, June 13.

Rawhide 2010 is offering leather bar-lovers the space to rack ‚Äėem up for some Jock Strap Pool (where you play pool wearing your jock-strap) starting at 11:30 pm on June 11. That same day, The Corner Pocket is offering cash prizes for a wet jockey shorts contest. And the whole of the LGBTQIA+ community is invited to Betty’s Bar & Bistro‘s inclusive dance party called Thots & Prayers with DJ HAAYKP.

On Sunday, June 12, the party starts at Crossing from 2 – 5 pm when anyone in beach attire can get a free Tropic Thunder Shot. From 5 pm onwards, the 800 block of Bourbon Street is the place to be. There’ll be a Pride T-Dance at Bourbon Pub at 5 pm, followed by a Pride Show at 8 pm. At 9 pm, the party moves over Oz New Orleans.

Party morning to evening at the oldest gay bar in North America

Cafe Lafitte in Exile-the oldest gay bar in North America-is closing out the Pride weekend with two different events on June 12 including a Hangover Brunch at 11 am, followed by #TrashDisco at 4 pm in King’s Courtyard and on their Bourbon Street-facing balcony. Gay napkin tosses take place at 8:30 pm and 9 pm.

Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.
Happy Raptor Distilling, LLC.

Bring the kids to celebrate with the whole family

Pride isn’t just about the epic party-though, who doesn’t love to drink, dance, and dress up in New Orleans? On June 5, French Market is hosting its Inaugural Pride and Diversity Celebration in Crescent Park in the Bywater neighbourhood at Mandeville Wharf¬†from 2 pm to 7 pm. The free event includes live music, community organization performances, kids’ activities, a curated arts and crafts market, and community organization info, along with food and beverage booths. On June 11, Happy Raptor Distilling is hosting an all-ages gathering for the family from 12 pm to 8 pm with food by Alphabet Mafia BBQ and music. The next day, June 12,¬†Longue Vue House and Gardens is also hosting a family-friendly event that includes fan decorating, Drag Queen Story Time, a children’s march, and a community resources fair for everyone from 10 am to 1 pm.

New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity

Build community (literally)

Decades of systemic discrimination have barred LGBTQIA+ families and individuals from homeownership.¬†New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity‘s first-ever Pride Build aims to draw attention to that inequity and offer a solution. On June 4 and June 18, the organization is bringing together local members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to help build a home for a local family while celebrating New Orleans Habitat’s LGBTQIA+ homeowners.

Thuc Doan Nguyen is a New Orleans based writer and dog lover. You can find out more about her at Considerate Content.

New Orleans

Where to Go on a Perfect Date in New Orleans This Spring

Woo that special someone with sultry live music and inviting outdoor date ideas.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Travel
Photo courtesy of Louisiana Travel
Photo courtesy of Louisiana Travel

Whether you’re searching for the perfect spot for a first date or looking to spend some time with your longtime love, you should have no problem planning a romantic outing in New Orleans. Our amazing restaurants and bars are classic settings for some quality time, but think outside the date night box and literally get outside. Spring is the most gorgeous time of year here, so you can score some serious romance points. From strolls in the park and outdoor music to cozy wine bars and sultry jazz nights, here are some can’t-miss ideas for the perfect date in New Orleans.

Spend an afternoon in City Park

Mid-City
One could spend hours strolling beneath City Park’s moss-drenched oaks, but combine this beautiful setting with the park’s other offerings and you’ve got yourself a date. Start with coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde to ease into things. Explore the collections at the New Orleans Museum of Art or stroll through the sculpture garden. Continue your romantic walk around the Big Lake, or rent a boat and paddle your way around. If things are going well, finish up with a well-earned drink and a bite at Ralph’s on the Park.

Grab bagels and bike on the Greenway

Mid-City
Bike the Lafitte Greenway and you’ll get moving while having plenty of time to connect. Fuel up at Flour Moon Bagels with coffee and stellar carbs before you hit the pavement. The Greenway’s linear path is 2.7 miles, but you can make it a longer ride by linking up with the Wisner Trail or the Norman C. Francis bike path. The Greenway goes all the way to the Quarter, but you can save that for another date. End up back where you started and cool down with a pint or two at Skeeta Hawk Brewing.

Create some Magazine Street magic

Uptown/Garden District
Magazine Street boasts six miles of unique, locally owned businesses. There are plenty of one-off date options along the street (like grabbing coffee and chocolate at Piety and Desire, having a romantic dinner at Coquette or Saffron, or ordering wine and small plates at Saba). But for a longer get-to-know-you date, the street is perfect for an all-day stroll. Browse esteemed art galleries and shops, have a well-made cocktail at Bouligny Tavern, stop for fresh oysters at Basin, taste a few wines at Spirit Wine, and admire the mix of architecture along the street. Why stop there? Shop for some vinyl at Peaches, grab a casual dinner at Picnic Provisions & Whiskey or Tito’s, then see who’s playing at Le Bon Temps.

Take in the West Bank nature and noodles

Marrero
Take the Crescent City Connection and head down to the Barataria Preserve to explore acres of secluded wetlands that’ll confirm you’re really in south Louisiana. A boardwalk winds through swampy land packed with all the best regional flora and fauna, including alligators. April is typically peak iris season, so check the bloom forecast. Before you head back across the river, stop by Tan Dinh or 9 Roses for excellent pho and other Vietnamese faves.

Nevbrown/Flickr
Nevbrown/Flickr
Nevbrown/Flickr

Go on a wine bar crawl

Various locations
A wine bar presents a perfect middle ground between grabbing casual beers and sipping superior cocktails. You’ve got chill environs, curated selections, and just enough nibbles to sustain your conversation. Second Vine Wines and Faubourg Wines are thoughtfully curated shops that serve wines by the glass, so you can start off with a couple of glasses then buy a bottle if the date moves to another location. Tell Me Bar and Pluck offer rotating selections of intriguing wines you’ll want to learn more about. And of course there’s Bacchanal, where you can enjoy wine, good vibes, and live music under the stars.

Cross the river by boat

Algiers Point
There’s something undeniably romantic about standing at the bow of a boat with wind blowing through your lover’s hair, so take the Algiers Ferry to behold the mighty Mississippi and gorgeous views of the city. Stroll charming Algiers Point, grab a drink with the locals at the Old Point Bar or Crown and Anchor, and then enjoy dinner at Tavolino, Tonti’s Hand, or Plume.

Saunter down St. Charles Ave

Uptown/French Quarter
The streetcar is an underrated date option-get to know each other while rolling past the majestic St. Charles Avenue mansions. Start with a late afternoon drink at The Chloe before hopping aboard. Once you’re in the Quarter, take a spin around the bar with a cocktail at Hotel Monteleone, take a stroll through Jackson Square, then pick from swoon-worthy dining options like St. John, Jewel of the South, Cane & Table, Doris Metropolitan, or MaMou.

Explore Lake Pontchartrain

Lakefront
Take a trip out to Lake Pontchartrain for some sun, fresh air, and seafood. Cruise Lakeshore Drive, check out the Mardi Gras Fountain, maybe take a roll down the levee to connect with your inner child, then sit and watch as the boats and birds go by. As the sun sets, head over to The Blue Crab for fresh seafood or JB’s Fuel Dock at West End Park for pizza and beers.

Photo courtesy of Three Keys NOLA
Photo courtesy of Three Keys NOLA
Photo courtesy of Three Keys NOLA

Let music and lounge vibes set the mood

Various locations
Let someone special know just how you feel by taking them out for a classy evening of fine cocktails and world-class jazz. Grab a prime spot to watch Jeremy Davenport do his thing at his namesake lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, listen to the smooth sounds of solo artists at the intimate Bayou Bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel, or pop into the Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta next time you do a French Quarter outing. For a new-school option, check out a performance at the Ace Hotel’s Three Keys.

Go the extra mile with a day trip

Covington/Abita Springs
Driving the Causeway’s 24 miles will give you plenty of time to go beyond small talk, making a nearby road trip the ideal activity for upping the ante on your relationship. Head to Covington to enjoy the boutiques and galleries of the quaint historic downtown before grabbing a bite at Lola or Tavi, or rent bikes and ride the Tammany Trace to the Abita Brewery where you can take a tour and sample some of the finest local beers. Even better, head over when the brewery is hosting one of its food truck roundups or live music.

Photo courtesy of Urban South Brewery
Photo courtesy of Urban South Brewery
Photo courtesy of Urban South Brewery

Peel crawfish and sip local beer

Various locations
Spring means crawfish boils, and the city is loaded with experts bringing their boil skills to some of the top local breweries. Crawfish and beer make a perfect pair, and what better way to gauge relationship potential than by observing peel technique and spice tolerance? Check their calendars, but breweries including Faubourg Brewing, Urban South, NOLA Brewing, Miel, and Parleaux usually host boils on weekends throughout the season.

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Gerrish Lopez is a Thrillist contributor.

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