12th Night Festivities Kick Off Carnival Season

January 6, also known as Twelfth Night is the official start of Carnival Season. Here’a how we’re kicking things off:

The Phunny Phorty Phellows  annual 12th Night Streetcar Parade traditionally kicks off carnival season. It starts/ends at Beauregard Circle, at N. Carrollton Ave. near City Park and travels down Carrollton to Canal Street, turning at St. Charles Avenue, continuing to Napoleon Avenue where it turns and retraces its route to Lee Circle, Carondelet Street, Canal and Carrollton. The maskers will assemble on the neutral ground, 6:30 Sun., and board the streetcar at 7.

The St. Joan of Arc Parade is also tonite. It is only three years old but a big hit as it travels thru the French Quarter. The parade begins at 6:00 p. m. in the French Quarter at the Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville statue and park at Conti and Decatur and ends at the golden Joan of Arc statue at the New Place de France at Decatur and St. Phillip Streets at approximately 6:45 p.m.  The parade route goes along Chartres Street, crosses Jackson Square, and continues past St. Louis Cathedral to the other side of Chartres to St. Phillip Street.

The Krewe of Alla hosts the first parade of the season, 1 p.m. Sun. in downtown Gretna, in addition to its traditional parade on Jan. 27, featuring 10 floats, including one from Grela, and marching bands. It begins at the base of the Crescent City Connection at Franklin Street, travels down Franklin, turns right at Stumpf Boulevard, left at Fifth Street, left at Lafayette Street, right at the West Bank Expressway and right at Huey P. Long Avenue, concluding at the end of Huey P. Long in downtown Gretna.

The Krewe of Claude begins their parade at Salmen High School off Pontchartrain Drive, ending at the Midtown Square shopping center off Gause Boulevard, Slidell and features krewe floats, a Sweet 16 float, and units including the Moss Point, Miss., High School band, St. Mary’s Academy New Orleans band, Salmen High School color guard and band, the Baby Dolls dance team, Galloway’s dance team and the Northshore Classic Car Club, 1 p.m. Sun.

Mystic Krewe of Satyricon hosts its 12th Night Ball at the Country Club, 624 Louisa St. The 6th annual gala benefits the krewe’s Carnival ball and features an open buffet, cash bar, silent auction and music by a deejay, 7-11 p.m. Sat. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Dress is cocktail attire. Call 525-4498.

A King Cake Kick Off Party will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 438 Oliver St., Algiers Point. Food, King Cake, German beer and entertainment by Benny Grunch and the Bunch, noon Sun. Call 368-0411.

Benny Grunch and Da Bunch , the group responsible for such NOLA classics as The 12 Yats of Christmas, Aint Dere No More and the always popular Norris the Nocturnal Nutria, are at  Mid City Lanes Rock and Bowl’s annual Twelfth Night celebration Sunday. The Bunch is enjoying their busy season and are now gearing up for Carnival. If you haven’t seen the band, they specialize in what only can be described as a very home town, lyrically influenced, “Weird Al” type of show.

Thanks to NOLA.com for the listings and see ya’ll at the Mardi Gras …. bon temps roulez

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