One of America’s biggest gay parties has been forced to close early due to hurricane Gustav which has threatened the Gulf coast and led to mass evacuation.

Southern Decadence is an annual almost week-long event consisting of various gay parties and celebrations in New Orleans.

The event’s organisers chose to cancel all events from Saturday onwards because of the threat posed by the massive storm.

Southern Decadence was also cancelled three years ago when the city was hit by the devastating hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin urged citizens on Saturday night to evacuate the city, describing Gustav as the “storm of the century.”

Almost two million people have fled the New Orleans area, with outgoing road, rail and air links closing down in anticipation of the hurricane making landfall.

Southern Decadence started thirty-seven years ago. According to organisers it regularly sees over 100,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people participate.

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