Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc rolls through French Quarter on Jan. 6

Margarita Bergen via Facebook.

The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc, a Mardi Gras parade inspired by France’s Joan of Arc, will usher in the beginning of the Carnival season on the evening of Jan. 6 in the French Quarter.

This year, the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc will begin its procession at 7 p.m. sharp at Bienville and N. Front streets.

Read: Mardi Gras season begins Jan. 6 with Phunny Phorty Phellows street car ride from Uptown to the French Quarter

The krewe commemorates Joan of Arc, also known as the Maid of Orleans, a peasant woman whose divine visions inspired a French victory over the English for control of France during the Hundred Years’ War in the Middle Ages.

Claiming to be guided by divine visions, Joan of Arc convinced a desperate King Charles VII of France to allow her to tag along with a relief army to the besieged city of Orleans in April 1429, according to historians.

Her mere presence is often credited for inspiring the liberation of the city from the English a week later and subsequently helping the French win several more battles.

The 2020 Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parade starts 7 p.m. sharp at the corner of Bienville and North Front streets | joanofarchparade.org.

The teenage Joan of Arc was captured by the English at the Siege of Compiegne in May 1430, tried for heresy and eventually executed by getting burned at the stake one year later.

Shortly before the krewe begins its walk, New Orleans City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer will read a proclamation at the parade’s starting point at 6:45 p.m.

Recognizing its connection to New Orleans, France gifted the city with a gilded statute of Joan of Arc at the intersection of Decatur and North Peters streets in 1972.

The first Joan of Arc krewe paraded in 2009.

The Joan of Arc parade route will proceed northwest down Bienville Street before hooking a right on Chartres Street. A brief stop will be made between The Historic New Orleans Collection and Vincent Sciama, Consul General of France in New Orleans, on the balcony of the Williams Research Center at 400 Chartres Street.

Three blocks later, a sword blessing will occur at Saint Louis Cathedral by the Very Reverend Father Philip G. Landry.

The parade continues three blocks later before making a right at Ursulines Street, then another right one block later at Decatur Street.

One half block later, the parade will pause briefly at the Joan of Arc statue to sing happy birthday before continuing down Decatur Street to Washington Artillery Park where there will be a crowning of the king of the krewe along a king cake ceremony.

Individuals are encouraged to bring their own king cakes to share with others in the parade.

Mardi Gras season begins Jan. 6 with Phunny Phorty Phellows street car ride from Uptown to the French Quarter

The Storyville Stompers performing on Twelfth Night aboard the St. Charles Avenue street car in 2011. Picture by Jim Hobbs via Flickr | CC.

Revelers are required to show up no later than 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 6 at the Willow Street car barn if they’re hoping to catch the official start of the 2020 Mardi Gras season with the Phunny Phorty Phellows.

The barn, located at 8200 Willow St., is where the Phellows gather to begin their street car ride at 7 p.m. sharp along St. Charles Avenue and ending at the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets.

The Phellows tradition coincides with Twelfth Night, or the 12th day after Christmas, starts the Mardi Gras season and kicks off the countdown to Fat (Shrove) Tuesday on Feb. 25.

The tradition first appeared after the parade of Rex in 1878, but disbanded in 1898, according to the krewe’s website.

Phellows was ultimately revived in 1981, with the street car rides beginning a year later in 1982.

This year’s ride will include a toast from members of the Krewe of Oak with the Phellows and the Storyville Stompers brass band.

The street car ride runs approximately six miles and may include revelers dressed in bizarre “satirical costume that reflect topical issues.”

Their motto is “a little nonsense now and then is cherished by the best of men.”

Riders will likely witness the selection of Phellows’ queen and king–or “boss”–who are chosen when they find the baby in each of the King Cakes that are passed around the street car as everyone sips champagne.

After reaching Canal Street, the street car will loop and head back down St. Charles Avenue, then back to the Willow Street barn on South Carrollton Avenue.