Phunny Phorty Phellows will kick off Carnival with socially-distanced St. Charles streetcar ride

The Phunny Phorty Phellows announced plans to kick off Carnival season with its annual historic streetcar ride on Twelfth Night, Jan. 6.

As one of the few Carnival traditions still rolling during the unprecedented COVID-era, the krewe’s 40th ride on the St. Charles streetcar line will take place with adjustments, the krewe captain said.

Source: Phunny Phorty Phellows

Similar to previous year, the costumed and masked krewe will assemble at the Willow Street Barn for the 7 p.m. ride. However, this year, riders will be socially-distanced and limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The public will not be allowed in or near the streetcar barn in keeping with RTA COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are so pleased to be riding through uptown New Orleans,” the Phunny Phorty Phellows captain said in a statement. “We will traverse a route that is the route of many Mardi Gras parades, so it’s only fitting that we honor them with our Ride. We know that the season will be different this year but we are doing what we can to kick off the season in a responsible way. We are grateful to the Regional Transit Authority for their cooperation.”

The krewe says the ride will be very different this year. While the public is invited to see the ride, the only way to view the ride is along the streetcar route while masked and physically distant from others.

“Please be responsible as we encourage everyone to follow all the City guidelines in place (wearing a mask, socially distance from other groups, etc.),” the krewe said in a post via their website.

The Phunny Phorty Phellows are an historic Mardi Gras organization that first took to the streets in 1878 and ceased parading in 1898. The group was revived in 1981.

The group was known for its satirical parades, and today’s krewe members’ costumes often reflect topical themes. One Carnival historian has referred to the krewe as the “Dessert of  Carnival.” This year marks the 40th anniversary of the krewe’s revival.

The krewe’s website, PhunnyPhortyPhellows.com, includes a route map. The krewe will travel down South Carrollton Avenue to St. Charles, down to Canal Street via Carondelet Street to Canal and turn back on to St. Charles to return to the uptown route back to car barn.

The Funky Uptown Krewe, which has followed the Phunny Phorty Phellows’ ride on the St. Charles streetcar line for the past two years, announced it canceled its 2021 ride in favor of a scavenger hunt.

Recently, the Krewe of Joan of Arc announced it will produce a drive-by parade, instead of its traditional French Quarter procession, at Behrman Memorial Park in Algiers from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 6.

The Societé Des Champs Elyseé, which has hosted its own Twelfth Night streetcar parade on the Rampart-St. Claude streetcar line since 2017, has also canceled this year’s ride.

Contact us here if your krewe has updates for Mardi Gras 2021.


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