How do you know it’s Carnival season in New Orleans? Just look to the Phunny Phorty Phellows. Every year on Twelfth Night, which always falls on January 6, the Phellows lead a Carnival Countdown with help from the Krewe of Oak. Afterwards, they all jump on a streetcar and ride along the St. Charles Avenue route to Canal Street and back—ending back at the Willow Streetcar Barn on South Carrollton Avenue. Along the route they throw the first beads of Mardi Gras to the crowds gathered to see them. While on their route, champagne and traditional King Cakes are served, one for the men and another for the women. Whoever finds the slice with the plastic Carnival baby inside becomes the Queen Phellow and Boss Phellow for the year.
A Brief History of the Phellows
The Phellows began back in 1878 on Fat Tuesday as satirical relief following the more formal Rex parade. Their motto is “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men”. They took a long break from parading starting in 1898 but the organization was revived in 1981 and has continued ever since. Their costumes and masks still reflect both current national events and local culture. Mardi Gras 2020 marks their 37th ride. The official band of the Phellows is the Storyville Stompers New Orleans Brass Band which rides along with the Phellows entertaining the crowd with the traditional sounds of New Orleans.
Don’t Miss Out!
There is nothing like Mardi Gras in New Orleans! From now until Fat Tuesday on February 25, there is fun to be had by young and old alike. We highly recommend a visit during this time of year. While you are in town join The Savvy Native for one of our many historical walking tours to enhance your trip. We have over 20 different ways to experience the history of New Orleans and we’d love to show you around!
Many thanks to Dave & Joyce Thomas for a wonderful start to Carnival Season!
The Savvy Native is a group of experienced local tour guides who were either born in New Orleans or wish they had been.
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