As Dorian looms near Florida’s coast, crowds pack the French Quarter for Decadence

As Dorian looms near Florida’s coast, crowds pack the French Quarter for Decadence

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - As Hurricane Dorian surges towards the coast, visitors from around the globe took to the French Quarter over the holiday weekend, for Southern Decadence -- an inclusive festival celebrating gay pride, individuality and acceptance.

And while people come from all over to take part in the festivities, many of those in the crowds Sunday (Sept. 1) were from Florida. Though no one FOX 8 spoke to said they were fleeing a hurricane when they booked their trip, folks like Chris Romeu now have to work around one.

“Our flights just got cancelled so, we’re going to drive back,” Romeu said.

Romeu lives outside Dorian’s current projected path and so do first-time Decadence attendees Merrell Dickey, in from Tampa, and Jay Rock.

“The hurricane is not coming my way but I do want to be concerned for other Floridians,” Rock said.

Floridians like Ricky Leon, who treats Southern Decadence like a Labor Day Tradition.

“We always plan [to come to Decadence.] After we leave, we plan for the following year,” Leon said.

But, he said Dorian is something he wasn’t planning on.

“We are actually, right now, worried about the hurricane. Hopefully, it goes to the East,” Leon said.

And while he is safe from danger, his family, friends and property might not be.

“So, we’re keeping a close eye on it,” Leon said.

Even so, Leon and others said they aren’t letting that interfere with this highly anticipated celebration.

“We love New Orleans,” Leon said.

Where acceptance and self-expression reign for all.

As of Sunday night, departures from Armstrong International are not widespread, but this could change as Dorian moves closer to the United States.

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