New Orleans hosts one of the largest LGBT Halloween extravaganzas in the country to support those living with HIV/AIDS.

New Orleans, La., referred to by locals as NOLA, is getting geared up and preparing to welcome the 31st annual Halloween New Orleans (HNO) weekend October 23rd-26th.

The parties are big but the costumes are even bigger. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill costume party. The locals are serious and mean business. If you think you’re going to win a contest with that store-bought frock, Hunny, think again. Costumes are prepared all year long for the main event and the chance to reign as champion.

The weekend-long extravaganza, benefitting Project Lazarus, is the country’s largest gay Halloween charity event. The theme of this year’s HNO will be called, Descent: Journey Into The Inferno, based on the 14th-century poem by Dante Alighieri.

Since 1984, HNO has raised nearly $5 million for Project Lazarus and has become one of the only volunteered-run charities remaining in the U.S. to donate 100% of proceeds to benefit a non-profit.

“The event was created to celebrate the gay community in New Orleans, to share love, a sense of family, a unique culture and a love of showmanship, all while supporting Project Lazarus in its fight against HIV/AIDS,” says Dustin Woehrmann, Executive Board Chair of HNO.

Project Lazarus serves as transitional housing for people living with HIV/AIDS who have nowhere else to turn. Established in 1985, Project Lazarus has provided medical care and support to over 1,200 HIV/AIDS victims.

The services provided by Project Lazarus are not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or any other insurance; therefore they are completely dependent on public and private support to continue their mission.

A limited number of early bird passes are available starting at $225. Single-day passes are available beginning September 2. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

For the second year in a row, HNO will partner with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation to award a trip for two to New Orleans to attend the event. Rules and restrictions apply. To enter, go to: