Southern Decadence, the gay Mardi Gras, kicked off Thursday in New Orleans without even a whisper of a hurricane alert this year. Good news for organizers who resuscitated the party last year after hurricane Katrina flattened the city in 2005 and Gustav sent revelers fleeing last year.

The annual party draws nearly 100,000 merrymakers to the French Quarter over Labor Day weekend, making it one of the city's largest annual events.

Sunday's huge parade is the main attraction of the party. Grand Marshal Samson Utley will lead a procession of floats and costumed merrymakers through New Orleans' historic streets. The parade kicks off at 2PM at the Golden Lantern.

A costume show where people are invited to strut their stuff follows the parade.

Legendary drag artist Lady Bunny returns to Southern Decadence this year with her one-woman show at The Bourbon Pub.

Hundreds of musicians from Lesbian and Gay Band Association musical organizations throughout the country will perform a concert titled Incantations on Sunday night at Harrah's Theater.

After the parade, revelers will head to Meltdown at The Bourbon Pub, an outrageous dance party hosted by adult film director and drag artist Chi Chi LaRue.

Southern Decadence has grown from a birthday bash pub crawl attended by about a dozen men in the early 70s to one of the world's largest gay parties.

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