Southern Decadence is by no means, a new party weekend: it's been around for almost 40 years. What started out as a going away party to shut up a New Yorker who kept complaining about the New Orleans summer heat, has become one of the nations biggest and most decadent gay celebrations. People from all over the world fly in to New Orleans Labor Day Weekend to let loose, have fun, dance to great music and most importantly to meet new people.

Whether from a big city or a small town, they all enjoy the hospitality, camaraderie and inclusiveness that “Big Easy” provides. I was able to chat with Sandy Sachs, owner of New Orleans largest gay club, “The Bourbon Pub,” on how Southern Decadence has progressed over the years and what she plans to do to make this year more “Decadent” than ever.

What was your first Southern Decadence like?

My first Southern Decadence was amazing but a little overwhelming. So many men, so little time. It was one of the biggest ever since Katrina, so I was very pleased with the turnout.

Do you have any tips for first timers?

Pace yourself. Most places don't party 24 hours a day, but down here in New Orleans we do! You won't want to miss anything so take it easy.

How has Southern Decadence changed over the years?

It has really grown. It used to be a small event for a regional crowd and now guys come from all over the world to experience the largest block party in the country.

What can we expect this year at Southern Decadence?

There will be some great entertainment, great DJs and great MCs like Rhea Litre’!

You always bring amazing Entertainment to The Bourbon Pub for Holiday Weekends. Who will we look to see this year?

You'll be seeing Debra Cox who just got a great gig on Broadway, Jeanie Tracy, and a couple of other surprises.

What is it about a gay party in New Orleans and in the French Quarters so special for visitors and locals alike?

New Orleans and especially The French Quarter is really great adult playground. Not only can you party all night long, but the food and restaurants
are among the best in the world. It's the birthplace of Jazz and there is just so much culture that it make New Orleans one of the most interesting cities in the
country. The combination of it's European feel and it's easy lifestyle, it's a perfect place to get away and just let loose.

Tell us a bit of your history with New Orleans?

I came to New Orleans when I was 18 when I was recruited by the tennis coach of Tulane University where I accepted a full scholarship. I stayed here after I graduated and worked in restaurants and hotels in the French Quarter until I moved back to New York several years later.

First the Trevor Project benefit at Mardi Gras and now the NOH8 campaign for marriage rights - why do you feel it's important to keep the Pub politically active as well as a fun place to party?

Well, while I like to throw a good party and create an atmosphere where people can enjoy themselves, it's important for all of us to stay socially conscious and to participate in human rights.

How was it working with Jeff Parsley and Adam Bouska on the photo shoot and what do they have planned at the Pub?

The photo shoot was a lot of fun and very quick. These guys have the shoot down to a science and are very professional. I'm looking forward to having them here in New Orleans. People here are very excited about having Adam and Jeffrey here.

Where is your favorite place to eat in the French Quarter?


You moved back to New Orleans from California. How do the two cities differ?

I haven't actually moved to New Orleans. I still have businesses in L.A. so I end up going back and forth. The two cities are very different which makes my life very interesting. New Orleans is a big tourist attraction and there are always people visiting here. L.A. has the Hollywood factor which is always fun. New Orleans is hotter than Africa in the summer, L.A. has the best weather in the world. All in all, they are both great places to live and are two of my three favorite cities in the US to live, New York being the third.

Why do you enjoy most about living in the “Big Easy?”

Just that, it is "easy" to live here. The cost of living is low, there are no crowds except holidays when the City really jumps, and there always seems to be something to celebrate. I hope whoever reads this, makes plans to visit The Big Easy and experience the Southern hospitality.

For more on Southern Decadence and to purchase a weekend pass, visit Southern Decadence is on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-5).

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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