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Bourbon Street Awards Set to Confer Carnival Costuming Crowns

by Sarah Esenwein

Flamboyance, excess and grandeur hardly describe the scene of fabulousness in the most extreme sense that is preparing to saturate Bourbon St. on Fat Tuesday for the 49th Annual Bourbon St. Awards. The costume contest of the Gay Mardi Gras is one of the best spots to find elaborate costumes on Mardi Gras Day, and doesn't fall short in the people-watching category, either.


“You never know what you’re going to see, some of the costumes are as big as a car.” said Rip Naquin-Delain, editor and publisher of Ambush Mag, the official Mag of Gay Mardi Gras.


Members of the Gay Carnival organizations have been celebrating the event since 1964 but it’s only been since 2009 that the parade moved to its rightful home of Bourbon St.


This year, with special hostesses Blanche Debris and Bianca Del Rio; queens costumed in all matter of shapes, sizes, sparkles, sequins and erections will assemble at Bourbon and Dumaine and parade toward St. Ann to Club Oz, passing by the judging balconies.


Judges are comprised of the Captains of the Gay Krewes, city officials, and fashionistas along with the reigning Platinum Queen over the Krewe of Queenateenas, the King Cake Queen, Dusty Debris. Judges will vote on a 1 to 10 scale and present awards in the categories of “Best Drag”, “Best Leather”, “Best Group”, and “Best of Show”.  Winners from the first three categories are set to receive $500 each with the grand prize of $1000 and a special silver platter provided by Bud Light going to “Best of Show”.


After the winners are selected and spectators are dazzled by the costumes, King Cake Queen Dusty Debris will take to the Ambush Mag balcony to reign over the 26th Annual Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss.


This full day of fun starts at noon, but it is highly suggested spectators arrive early and the crowd gets thick quick and you want to get up-close to truly take in the extravagant detail these queens have put into their glamorous and majestic creations.

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