Mail Homespacing gif

Gay Balls and Carnival Future!

The Balls

The traditions of Gay Mardi Gras came into being in the 1950s. The first Gay Mardi Gras krewe was the Krewe of Yuga or "KY." This krewe was formed to satirize the straight, aristocratic Mardi Gras traditions in 1958. In 1962, the Krewe of Yuga threw its first Ball at a badly chosen sight, a private children's school. No sooner had the tableau begun with queen and maids expectantly waiting the adoration of the spectators when police cars roared up and the ball was raided. Doors were locked and people were unceremoniously hauled to jail.

Taking a deep breath, the Gay community soon reorganized and new Gay Mardi Gras krewes began to flourish. Peaking in the early 1980s, there were dozens of Gay krewes that were the highlight of the Carnival season. Local matrons would beg for tickets from their hairdresser. They were quite the event.

The Gay balls required formal attire and the tableaus were a sight to behold. Many a cocktailed queen was seen to fall over from the weight of a bigger than life costume. It was all wonderful, some of the most cherished Carnival memories.

Why past tense? AIDS took many of the best and most talented people from New Orleans. It would be easy to blame a weak economy and apathy for the decline of the Gay krewes. It's not that. It was AIDS that hurt this fine tradition, redirecting funds from carnival clubs to fight the disease.

However, several krewes did survive across the Gulf South, plus new ones have organized in recent years bringing about the rebirth of Gay Mardi Gras. It's back! It's big! It's FAB!!!

In New Orleans there are ten Gay Carnival organizations -  Krewe of Amon-Ra, Krewe of Armeinius, Krewe of Mwindo, Krewe of Nacissus, Krewe of Petronius, Krewe of Queenateenas, Krewe of Stars, Lords of Leather, Mystik Krewe de la Rue Royale Revelers, and  Mystic Krewe of Satyricon.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there are two -  Krewe of Apollo Baton Rouge and Krewe of Divas.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, there are two - Krewe of Apollo de Lafayette and Royal Order of Unicorn.

In Houston, Texas, there is one, the Krewe of Olympus.

These Gay balls carry on the lavish traditions for everyone. Attire is formal and the balls are by invitation only. And if you hear of a krewe fundraiser, please support each and every one of them, to help maintain this Gay Mardi Gras tradition preserving Gay life, music and culture.

Gay Mardi Gras Logo69th Gay Mardi Gras

Saturday, January 6th...
~8pm, 5th Annual 12th Night Party & Coronation of Grand Reveler IV, TBA, New Orleans

Saturday, January 13th...
8pm Tableaux, Krewe of Mwindo Bal Masque XX, TBA

, January 20th...
~7pm doors open,
8pm Tableaux,
Krewe of Amon-Ra Bal Masque LIII, Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center, Chalmette, LA

Friday, January 26th...
~6:30pm, doors open, 8pm Tableaux
Krewe of Stars Show Ball II, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, Metairie, LA

Friday, February 2nd...
~7pm doors open,
8pm Tableaux, Krewe of Satyricon Bal Masque XV,

Saturday, February 3rd...
~7pm doors open,
8pm Tableaux, Krewe of Petronius Bal Masque LVII,

Friday, February 9th...
~8pm, Friday Night Before Mardi Gras Extravaganza XIX, The Cannery, New Orleans

Saturday, February 10th...
~7pm doors open,
8pm Tableaux, Krewe of Armeinius Bal Masque L,

Sunday, February 11th...
~7pm doors open, 8pm Tableaux, Lords of Leather Bal Masque XXXV, John A. Alario, Sr. Event Center, Westwego, LA

MARDI GRAS (Fat Tuesday), February 13th...
~12noon, 54th Annual
Bourbon Street Awards, hosted by Wood Enterprises, in the 900 block of St. Ann at the corner of Dauphine Streets, outside of Good Friends Bar with the stage facing towards Bourbon Street. Pre-contestant registration
@ Good Friends Bar, 940 Dauphine, Lundi Gras, Feb. 12 12noon-4pm; Mardi Gras Day registration @ Rawhide 2010 beginning @10am. Contestant line-up on St. Ann from Rawhide towards Dauphine.

~2pm, 31st Annual Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss
led by King Cake Queen XXIV of Gay Mardi Gras, Ambush Mansion Balcony, 828 Bourbon St.

Future Mardi Gras Dates !

Just so you don't miss it...

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. Parades and formal Gay Balls begin on the twelfth night of Christmas (Kings Night-January 6). Parades roll in New Orleans and in Metairie. Below are the dates for Mardi Gras in the new century...

2019 - March 5
2020 - February 25
2021 - February 16
2022 - March 1
2023 - February 21

To Top of PageMail HomeTo Top of Page

Brought to you by
Over 375,000 Unique Visitors Per Month

Copyright Ambush, Inc. All Rights Reserved
828-A Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116-3137, USA
PH 1.504.522.8049