The 2009 Carnival Season begins on Tuesday, January 6 with a brand-new walking parade in the French Quarter and the annual Twelfth Night streetcar ride of the Phunny Phorty Phellows.
While Mardi Gras Day falls on Tuesday, February 24 this year, the parades, balls, parties and King Cakes of Carnival traditionally begin on the 6th of January every year, also known as the Epiphany.
Many New Orleanians get in shape for Carnival by attending weekly Mardi Gras Indian practices held at several clubs around town. One of the most popular is the Unified Mardi Gras Indian Practice at Handa Wanda's, 2425 Dryades Street, every Sunday at 6 p.m.
A brand-new krewe presents a procession in the French Quarter honoring the birthday of St. Joan of Arc. Their first annual parade will travel from the corner of Decatur and Conti Streets to the statue of St. Joan at St. Philip Street, and features portrayers of the saint at four stages of her life, along with revelers in medieval garb. Participants will gather at 5 p.m. in Woldenberg Park for pre-parade music and refreshments. All are welcome to walk in period dress and to bring their drums, tambourines, and bells and an offering for the saint. For more information, please visit www.stjoankrewe.blogspot.com.
Marking the beginning of Carnival for 28 years, the streetcar parade starts and ends at the the corner of Canal and North White Streets (one block from Broad), and travels along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, turning around at Napoleon Avenue for the return trip. Check out the Phunny Phorty Phellows' website.
WWOZ show hosts are out there enjoying Carnival 2009. Check out the new show host blog to find out what parades and parties they are attending, and their special radio programs and in-studio guests for the 2009 Carnival season.