Phunny Phorty Phellows will once again take
to the rails on Twelfth Night, Sunday January 6, 2013. They
will gather at the Willow Street Car Barn at 6:30.
from the Krewe of Oak will be on hand to toast
7pm there will be a Carnvial Countdown and cutting
of the ribbon and the Phellows, all masked and
costumed, will board the streetcar. They will
ride the St. Charles Ave. Streetcar Route
to Canal. We'll conclude our ride at Willow Street Car Barn and will then attend our Coronation Ball.
Storyville Stompers will accompany us during
Whether you usually spend your nights dining out, staying in for a bit of or heading to Broadway to see the next Tony Award winner, the Phunny Phorty Phellows offers you a one of a kind night.
The Phunny Phorty Phellows first appeared on Fat Tuesday, 1878, when they began the tradition of following the Rex parade. Since that time, the Phunny Phorty Phellows have made distinguished themselves as one of the liveliest additions to Mardi Gras with their hijinks and well-meaning mockery of the day’s events (one 1881 float depicted Rex’s traditional symbol, the Boeuf Gras, as a heifer). The original Phunny Phorty ceased parading and ultimately disbanded in 1885.
In 1981, 83 years after their predecessors’ last parade, a new group of Phellows emerged to revive the irreverent tradition as members of the Krewe of Clones (the impetus of today’s wildly ribald Krewe du Vieux).
In 1982 the Phunny Phorty Phellows became the official heralds of Mardi Gras with their Twelfth Night ride in a traditional New Orleans streetcar announcing that, at last, the pre-Lenten season of “phun and phrivolity” had arrived.
Humor and whimsy are still very much a part of the Phunny Phorty tradition with some members favoring costumes inspired by current events and the peculiarities of local culture. Masked revelers gather at the streetcar barn in Uptown New Orleans for the Twelfth Night ride and get into the spirit of the event by carrying signs and banners with humorous slogans and messages. There are champagne toasts and second line dancing as the sounds of the famous Storyville Stompers New Orleans Brass Band fill the air; the Phellows, after cutting a ribbon and announcing, “It’s Carnival Time!” then board a decked-out party streetcar.
While on their merry way, the Phellows and other revelers sip champagne, eat King Cake, dance and let fly with the very first beads of the Mardi Gras season. There are two King Cakes used for this phirst night phrolic, one for the female members and one for the gents. Custom dictates that whoever takes the slices containing the plastic Carnival babies are declared Queen and Boss Phellow for the year.
Mardi Gras 2011 will mark the 30th ride that the Phellows have kept up this Mardi Gras tradition. Phellows and revelers traditionally board at the RTA streetcar barn, located on Willow street near S. Carrollton, at 6:30 p.m. on Twelfth Night, Sunday, January 6th, 2013 (ROUTE). The Phunny ride will begin at 7:00 p.m. sharp. The streetcar, which, traditionally, is still bedecked in it’s yuletide dressings, will leave the station for a route that will take the partying Phellows uptown to the Lee Circle turnaround and then back to the barn. You can’t miss the streetcar, it’s the one with the really noisy party inside and a big sign hanging from it reading: “It’s Carnival Time!”
All this revelry is in keeping with the motto printed on a Phunny Phorty Phellows 1896 bulletin:
“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men!”