12th Night Revelry
Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Fetes, balls and frivolity rule on Jan. 6, Twelfth Night. So do parades, which mark the beginning of Carnival. While these aren’t the full-on spectacles of the parades that roll around Mardi Gras (Feb. 21), these krewes know how to kick off the Carnival in festive style. 

Be on the lookout for DJ Mannie Fresh with the Funky Uptown Krewe, while Societé des Champs Elysée has an after party with Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, among others. Phunny Phorty Phellows celebrates its 42nd anniversary after its revival; the original parade ran 1878-1898. 

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Two of the parades choose their royalty the night of the parade, harkening to the Twelfth Night Revelers, a krewe established in 1870, with the queen announced that night, though the king remains a secret.

Weather and other factors may affect the schedule and routes, so check before.

12th Night Revelry

Setting Up Carnival Shop

It’s almost Mardi Gras, so time to get that costume started (if not already) and adorn your house in purple, green and gold. Some of the most unique items can be found at area flea markets and at the French Market, one of the oldest in the U.S., established in 1822.

’tit Flea Market, Jan. 7, Noon-4 p.m., Henry’s Bar, 5101 Magazine St., facebook.com/titfleamarket; @titfleabazaar

Piety Market, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Beanlandia, 3300 Royal St. (And, there will be a market on Feb. 11 for those running really behind or last-minute costume adornments!)  facebook.com/people/Piety-Market-at-Beanlandia; @pietymarketnola

French Market, Daily, 10 a.m.-5 pm., 1008 N. Peters St., frenchmarket.org;  @frenchmktnola

12th Night Revelry

Made for a King

C’est si bon! Kimpton Hotel Fontenot is opening a French brasserie called King. Designed like a neighborhood brasserie in France, it will serve a melange of Mediterranean and New Orleans cuisines. While the opening date has yet to be set in January, no worries, as it’s always a good idea to stop in at the hotel’s Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee & Boozy Treats, where cocktails, food and people mingle. Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, 501 Tchoupitoulas St., kimptonhotels.com; Instagram: @hotelfontenot


Both of these krewes are in streetcars that roll along the St. Charles Avenue route.

Phunny Phorty Phellows, 7 p.m., starts/ends at Willow Street Car Barn; theme: “All Aboard! It’s Carnival Time”; and signature hand-outs: cuff bracelets, key fobs, coasters, magnets. Royalty revealed the night of parade. phunnyphortyphellows.com.

Funky Uptown Krewe, 7:05 p.m. (after PPP), starts at Bourrée/ends Fat Harry’s; theme: “Everybody Gets Your Funk On!”; and signature hand-outs: hand-decorated vinyl records, cups and doozies. Royalty is revealed the night of parade. funkyuptownkrewe.com; Instagram: @funkyuptownkrewe.

French Quarter

Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc, 7 p.m., this walking parade starts/ends at Oscar Dunn Park (formerly Washington Artillery Park across from Jackson Square). Royalty includes young Joan d’Arc, Emmeline L. Meyer; Queen Yolande, Beth Arroyo Utterback; and King Charles VII, Joseph Dunn. joanofarcparade.org.

St. Roch / Marigny / Seventh Ward

Societé des Champs Elysée, 8 p.m., this walking parade starts/ends at Sidney’s Saloon; theme: “Riding on the City of New Orleans”; and signature throw: branded poker chips and train-themed items. Reigning as Themis and Japetus are Barbara and Paul Kelemencky. societedeschampselysee.org.

12th Night Revelry

Jazz Opera

The New Orleans Opera is presenting Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, Jan. 20-22. The opera follows the story of jazz great Parker after his death. His spirit meets up with his mother, Adele, three of his four wives and Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he recounts the bebop jazz revolution they started. neworleansopera.org; Instagram: @neworleansopera