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Gay Carnival Krewes in New Orleans

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Category: Community Events

Start: Feb 13, 2023 12:00 AM

End: Feb 14, 2023 12:00 AM

BK Historic House and Gardens, 1113 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA

                                  February 13 and 26 Programming Announced
The revelries of Mardi Gras in New Orleans have many facets, including spectacular costumes, balls and pageants within the LBGTQ community.  On Monday, February 13, at 6 pm, the historic BK House will host a unique lecture on Gay Carnival Krewes in New Orleans by Wayne Phillips, Curator of Costumes and Textiles and Curator of Carnival Collections at the Louisiana State Museum. Phillips will provide an overview of the birth and growth of gay krewes from the 1950s to today as well as traditions that laid the groundwork for the formation of these krewes.


Doors will open at 5:30pm with the presentation beginning at 6:00pm. Free for museum members, $5 for nonmembers. Pre-purchase is recommended due to space limitations. Visit www.bkhouse.org for tickets and more information.

Doors open at 5:30 pm; the concert begins promptly at 6 pm.  Light refreshments will be served; however, this is a Bring Your Own Beverage event. Guests are encouraged to bring extra cups with their beverage of choice. Tickets are $30 for BK House members and $40 for non-members and should be pre-purchased at www.bkhouse.org.

Events take place at the Historic BK House & Gardens at 1113 Chartres Street, across from the Old Ursuline Convent. 


About:  The Historic BK House & Gardens: Now distinguished as a National Historic Landmark, the house was built in 1826, purchased by noted author Frances Parkinson Keyes in 1948 and restored under her loving care. Programming has evolved in the last several years to focus on the seven families who lived on the property, as well as influences of the French Quarter neighborhood. A new interpretative program is underway to better reflect the heritage of the site. Membership, events, grants, donations, and fundraising activities generate revenue needed for on-going restoration and future capital improvement projects.

About Gay Mardi Gras: Membership in Mardi Gras krewes was highly exclusive historically, but the evolution of carnival in the early twentieth century saw the birth of diverse opportunities for krewe membership. New krewes were founded for women, African Americans, and even children. However, it was not until 1958 that the first krewe was founded by and for members of the LGBTQ community.
At first taking place essentially underground, gay balls gained such renown that there developed a tremendous demand for invitations both from within and outside the gay community. Gay krewes attained a more public profile in the 1970s and 1980s when membership was at its peak. However, the devastation of HIV/AIDS led to the dissolution of most gay krewes. Today, gay balls have experienced a resurgence and remain one of the most exciting opportunities to view some of the most imaginative costumes of carnival, all crafted by the krewe members themselves.

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