The 35th Annual Chris Owens Easter Parade follows at 1pm, kicking off at the intersection of St. Louis and Royal Streets. Chris Owens, the Grand Duchess of the parade, the flashiest octogenarian showgirl this side of the Mississippi, and a Bourbon Street mainstay since 1956, leads in a signature float, followed by marching bands, walking groups, and more floats. The parade progresses down Royal to Canal Street, heads north on Canal and loops back into the Quarter going down Bourbon Street, turns south on St. Phillip Street, west on Decatur Street, and north on St. Louis Street, ending at the Omni Royal Orleans hotel and leaving a fabulous trail of Champagne bubbles, beads, and trinkets in its wake.
The 19th Annual Gay Easter Parade rolls at 4:30pm, starting and ending at GrandPre’s (834 Rampart Street) and passing many of the Quarter’s gay bars on the way. The parade rolls down Rampart Street to St. Ann, heads east on Bourbon Street, south on Esplanade for a block before veering west on Royal Street, then turns north on St. Louis Street and takes that avenue back to Rampart. The procession of carriages, floats, rickshaws, marching bands, and walking groups celebrates Easter as well as LGBTQ culture -- but be warned, this is no Southern Decadence. Nudity and sexually themed throws are strictly prohibited at this classy, kid-friendly event. Last year, organizers raised more than $22,000 for Food for Friends.