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.