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History of Pride in New Orleans
New Orleans Gay Pride began in February 1971, when the newly formed Gay Liberation Front of New Orleans presented a "Gay In" picnic in City Park. This was the very first such event in the entire state of Louisiana.
Throughout the 1980s, several organizations spearheaded the annual events. The first street parade was held in 1980. In 1981, the event moved to Armstrong Park, and was emceed by New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres. In 1988 “Gay Fest” was changed to “Gay Pride.”
By the 1990s, “Pridefest” was being sponsored by the New Orleans Alliance of Pride.
In 2005, Gay Pride was presented by the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans. In 2011, The LGBT Community Center decided to no longer produce the Pridefest event and gave all rights for PrideFest to the 2010 and 2011 local Grand Marshals.
In 2011, The New Orleans Pride Organization was formed as its own organization and acquired a 501(c)(3) status. The 2011 "New Orleans Gay Pride Festival" consisted only of a parade, pageant, and block party on Bourbon Street with 80’s pop star, Tiffany. In 2012, the festival officially became “New Orleans Pride.” Since then, The New Orleans Pride Board has restructured the organization to foster positive relationships between all communities in New Orleans.
The 2019 New Orleans Pride Festival was the largest Pride Festival to ever take place in Louisiana. 42 events took place over a three-day weekend, attracting people from all walks of life. The Festival brought in more than 94,000 participants, 4,000 of which were in the New Orleans Pride Parade, Louisiana’s Largest LGBT+ Parade.