In New Orleans, every gathering is an occasion for glitz and glamour—but Gay Easter is a showstopper even by our standards. The weekend is packed with events that bring out the LGBTQ community’s most dazzling and creative outfits, along with a ton of elaborately decorated hats. Here’s what you need to know to join in this bunny-hopping good time.
There are three signature events to look forward to over Easter Weekend. The festivities kick off on Good Friday with Bunnies in the Big Easy, a gay soiree featuring live entertainment, an open bar, raffles, and of course, plenty of bunny boys. Proceeds from the event fund the Gay Easter Parade, which in turn donates proceeds to a local charity supporting people living with HIV.
On Easter Sunday morning, the annual Chris Owens Easter Parade rolls through the French Quarter at 1 p.m. The tradition was started 40 years ago by legendary New Orleans entertainer, Chris Owens, and the parade now continues in her honor. The event brings out families and spectators from across the city for an unforgettable pastel procession.
The Gay Easter Parade is also held on Easter Sunday and begins at 5:30 p.m. Despite its queer-specific name, the parade is catered toward families and attendees of all ages, whether they’re LGBTQ-identifying or allies. Some people show up in their Sunday best for this iconic cultural event, while others go all out with costumes and getups that showcase the ingenuity of New Orleans locals.
Both the Chris Owens Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade are free and open to the public, so all you need to plan ahead is your outfit. However, Bunnies in the Big Easy is a ticketed event with limited capacity, so look out for on-sale dates and make sure to secure your spot early.