Tonight, New Orleanians trade red and green for purple, green and gold. In the spirit of Twelfth Night, the Phunny Phorty Phellows are coming out of the car barn to herald in the season on the streetcar line. French Quarter celebrants will parade and toast to Joan of Arc in honor of the Epiphany, which is also the heroine's birthday.
The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc marches every year to honor the French Catholic Saint, who lived from 1412-1431. Founded in 2008, the krewe celebrates New Orleans' close ties to France, as well as Joan of Arc's powerful legacy.
Founder Amy Kirk Duvoisin said that the parade blends the legend’s history with Carnival merrymaking.
“We try to do things that have some tie to her story. It’s a nice mix of historical elements, it’s also very New Orleans.”
Those who join are encouraged to don medieval costumes. There are about 100 krewe members who will be tossing handmade throws.
Joan turns 604 this year. The parade begins at 7:00p.m. sharp.
Toulouse and Decatur, down Decatur to Conti,
Conti to Chartres, continue on Chartres
Past St. Louis Cathedral to Ursulines
Down Ursulines to N. Peters
End at Washington Artillery Park
The parade will begin at the Natchez Pavillion with a Twelfth Night proclamation to usher in the Carnival season. The Joans will pause at the Historic New Orleans Collection (400 Chartres) to toast this year’s honorees. Sandra Savoye Dartus will reign as Queen Yolande of Aragon (Duchess of Anjou and the Countess of Provence). Eric Belin will be King Charles VII. (The original Charles VII was the Dauphin who ascended to the throne on account of Joan’s campaigns.) Margaux Schexnider, Student Council President at Benjamin Franklin High School, won a contest to gain her spot as a Maid of Honor.
Following the toast, the parade will stop at St. Louis Cathedral for a sword blessing. Finally, the krewe will end at Washington Artillery Park, where Maid Joan will crown King Charles and cut king cake for the crowd. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own king cakes to share, as well as their own wine.
Phunny Phorty Phellows
Uptown, the Phunny Phorty Phellows are taking to the tracks for their 35th ride since they were revived in 1981. The tradition began in 1878, when the original Mardi Gras Krewe paraded following Rex. The first PPP disbanded in 1898, only to be revived nearly a century later.
All are invited to the Willow Street Car Barn to drink and celebrate with the costumed krewe at 6:30 p.m., before the 7 p.m. start.
The krewe will pack the streetcar, which will roll down to Lee Circle, then turn around and disband at the car barn.