From: Thursday, February 1, 2024
To: Wednesday, February 14, 2024
One of the most colourful and liberal parties in the USA.
Although the Mardi Gras in New Orleans runs for weeks, the gay part of Mardi Gras is held in the lower French Quarter over five days of nonstop fun and party nights in the clubs and bars. Hotels in this district are the first to fill up, so book your trip now. The following hotels are popular with our readers:
- The Royal Sonesta – 5 Star hotel right on Bourbon Street.
- Bourbon Orleans Hotel – Rated Fabulous, this 4 star hotel is in the middle of the French Quarter.
- Place D’Armes Hotel – Charming 2 star hotel with comfortable rooms and great location.
When is Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
- Many people believe that Mardi Gras is a single day of celebration. Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday” is actually the climax for the Carnival season.
- Formal Gay Balls and walking parades begin on the twelfth night of Christmas (Kings Night). Most of the larger balls begin a week or two before Fat Tuesday.
- Larger Parades take place over several nights on the final Carnival weekend in both New Orleans and in Metairie.
Where is the Gay Mardi Gras?
- Most of the gay parties take place on the final weekend – From Thursday 8th Feb to Tuesday 14st Feb 2024 – The lower French Quarter is the center for New Orleans Gay Mardi Gras. This is where you’ll find the more extravagant costumes.
- People come from all over the world just to strut around in costumes of their own design. Of course, going home with a prestigious Bourbon Street Award is often the motivation for their sequined madness.
- Many of the biggest parades go down Canal St which divides Downtown and Uptown. (Most of the gay events and nightlife are located downtown).
- Stay close to all of the gay events and parties at The Hotel Monteleone, rated “Wonderful” by guests with a perfect location, modern gym, spacious rooms and a legendary reputation.
The Gay Carnival Balls
- Currently in New Orleans there are eight Gay carnival organizations know as Krewes. These organizations stage magnificent, elegant Masked Balls and costume contests.
- Some of the LGBTQ Krewes and balls to look out for during Mardi Gras and its Carnival season, via their respective websites, including the 60-year-old Petronius, Armeinius, the largely POC Krewe of Mwindo, leather and fetish-centric Lords of Leather, and fresh-faced Krewe of Stars.
Confirmed Balls for 2024
- Saturday, February 3, 2024 – Petronius – The oldest Gay Mardi Gras Krewe in New Orleans. Their ball is typically held a week or two before Mardi Gras. At Sigur Civic Center
- Friday, February 9, 2024 – Armeinius – One of the most outrageous Balls with over-the-top costumes and spectacular drag queens. At Sigur Civic Center
Themes and dates to be confirmed:
- Mwindo – Black and queer Mardi Gras Ball featuring queer rap legends and guest stars.
- Lords of Leather – Experience an early taste of South Decadence at one of the kinkiest balls during Mardi Gras.
- Not Your Dad’s Ball: Kinky queer ball with live performances, underground dance music, and busy darkrooms.
- Krewe of Stars: Cabaret-style Gay Ball focusing on live music and live show spectaculars.
Gay Circuit Parties
- Most of the gay parties are held in the French Quarter. Underground and queer events are centered around Marginy and Bywater.
- The two main clubs, OZ and The Bourbon Parade host special Mardi Gras theme nights and parties throughout the weekend.
- Phoenix hosts the Lords of Leather afterparty on the Sunday of Mardi Gras.
- The Silverfox (Rawhide) is home to all things leather and cruisey with a bustling dark room during Mardi Gras.
- Golden Lantern is one of the oldest gay bars in the city and hosts elaborate Mardi Gras Drag spectaculars.
- Stay in the “Fantastic” rated Peter & Paul, a historic hotel in the Marigny district with beautifully designed, spacious rooms and high-end amenities.
Annual Bourbon Street Awards Show
- On Mardi Gras day (Feb 13th 2024) the Annual Bourbon Street Awards Show presents the ultimate costume contest. This you have to see to believe. The show begins at noon at 800 Bourbon Street corner of St. Ann (OZ).
- And let’s not forget the world famous Mardi Gras beads! The beads are given in appreciation to the boys that show their assets (the better the asset the bigger the beads) so don’t be shy. Get lots of beads.
- Mardi Gras New Orleans is a 24/7 event over five days so you do need to find the right hotel if you want to get some sleep. Hotels book up well in advance so reserve early.
The Carnival Parades
- There are 100’s of carnival parades taking place throughout the Carnival festivities. Most take place outside of the gay district. We recommend you catch at least one parade during your visit.
- With so many to choose from, we suggest you stick with one of the “Super Krewes”. The three super krewes in the city of New Orleans are Orpheus, Bacchus and Endymion.
- Orpheus, Bacchus, and Endymion: The three super parades happen every year on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before Mardis Gras day.
- Orpheus and Bacchus usually follow the traditional Uptown route going from the beginning of St Charles through Uptown, down Canal, and ending in the CBD.
- Endymion starts in Midcity and goes the length of Canal Street.
- Whilst there’s no formal definition of a super krewe, they usually have at least 1,000 members and at least 500 riders participating in the parades, making for quite the spectacle of floats!
- Try to catch some of the parades in the French Quarter. These parades are on foot and have a totally different feel from the vehicle driven parades of the Super Krewes. For a complete list of all the parades visit the official Mardi Gras Site.
Where to Stay for Mardi Gras?
The best place to stay is in the French quarter, which is where you will find most of the gay bars and clubs. Our top choices close to all of the parties are as follows:
Read our insider guide to Gay New Orleans for the best bars, restaurants and places to party.
Gay Map of New Orleans
If you want to be close to all of New Orleans famous attractions, including the top gay-nightlife options in the city, the French Quarter remains the hub of where to stay, with dozens of hotels of all types and grades.. Adjacent to the Quarter and just downriver, you’ll find a number of gay-friendly smaller properties in historic and trendy Faubourg Marigny, which is also home to several gay-popular restaurants and bars.
Recommended Hotels in New Orleans By Booking
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Booking.com
We have chosen hotels in New Orleans that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
The Roosevelt Hotel
5 Star, Luxury
- 5 Star – Lovely Rooftop Bar, Full-Service Spa
- A short walk to the gay bars
- 42-inch TV, luxury amenities
- Elegant 5-star hotel, 15 minutes to Jackson Square, with a rooftop bar, fully equipped spa, and luxurious rooms.
Omni Royal, 4 Star
Sophisticated & Stylish
- 4 Star – 4-Diamond Luxury, Pinnacle Award Winner
- Close to the gay district
- Fashionable corner location
- On St. Louis at Royal, offers 4-diamond luxury, award-winning meeting services, and sophisticated style.
Royal Sonesta, 4 Star
Right on Bourbon Street
- 4 Star – On Bourbon Street, Outdoor Pool
- Close to the gay district
- WiFi, flat-screen TV, refrigerator
- In the French Quarter, offers accommodation with an outdoor pool, bars, jazz club, and modern art.
French Market Inn
3 Star Central Location
- 3 Star – Located in an Historic 1800s Building
- Close to the gay district
- Coffee facilities, air-conditioned
- Historic hotel in the French Quarter, built in the 1800s, simple rooms with coffee facilities and a short walk from Jackson Square.
Video Of New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras World, New Orleans,
Top Gay Neighbourhoods in New Orleans
New Orleans doesn’t have distinct gay neighbourhoods in the same way as some other cities like West Hollywood or Chelsea in New York City. However, the city is known for being LGBTQ+ friendly, and you’ll find gay-friendly establishments and events scattered throughout various neighbourhoods, especially along Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.
French Quarter | Home to Bourbon Street
Photo: Laissez les bons temps rouler! Bourbon Street is at the heart of Gay NOLA.
- The French Quarter is the historic heart of New Orleans and is located along the Mississippi River.
- Famous for its lively nightlife and vibrant atmosphere along Bourbon Street and the legendary Oz and Bourbon Parade Pub.
- The quarter is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in New Orleans and is known for its distinctive Spanish and French Creole architecture.
- Discover the best things to see and do in the French Quarter
Downriver from the French Quarter with colourful, eclectic houses & a vibrant arts scene along Frenchman St.
East of the Marigny and close to Crescent Park with stunning views of the River and the NOLA skyline.
Known as the Arts District, perfect for art enthusiasts & museum-goers with trendy restaurants & boutique hotels.
The CBD offers easy access to Bourbon Street and a variety of dining options, shops, and cultural attractions.