The best costumes of Southern Decadence 2017

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 NEW ORLEANS -- In August of 1972, a group of friends living in a ramshackle cottage house at 2110 Barracks Street in the Treme section of New Orleans, just outside of the French Quarter, decided to throw a party to help raise money for their rent.

Here we are 46 years later, and it's expanded to a four-day party known as Southern Decadence.

Attendance in 2016 broke records, with over 200,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender participants.

Southern Decadence is now the 5th largest event New Orleans hosts.

"Everyone is welcome, it's a celebration of love and life that's why we are here," said Big Momma, a transgender from Atlanta who has been attending for 21 years.

The economic impact is estimated to be in excess of $250 million.