Kickoff of Carnival season is just days away

Published: Jan. 4, 2015 at 10:41 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2015 at 2:46 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As stockings and Christmas lights are being packed away for another year, there's already a new celebration in New Orleans.

"Joan of Arc was born on January 6th, which makes for a good 12th day after Christmas and Mardi Gras kickoff parade," says Amy Kirk Duvoisin.

The Krewe of Joan of Arc is preparing to parade on Tuesday celebrating Twelfth Night, an old medieval holiday and also the kickoff of the carnival season.

"It's a gently introduction to Mardi Gras. We don't throw things. We hand things out, but it certainly gives people the majestic introduction to Mardi Gras and the pageantry," says Kirk-Duvoisin.

Members promise to take you back in time with characters on horseback, knights and giant puppets.

"We just take a lot of the pieces of her story, and try to make art with it, and then make a beautiful theatrical walking session. This year we have about 250 people with us," says Kirk-Duvoisin.

The satirical parade of the Phunny Phorty Phellows will also kick off carnival with their annual street car ride.

"The Phunny Phorty Phellows used to be considered the dessert of carnival in its day," says Jim Hobbs.

The name dates back to 1878 and used to be an organization that paraded after Rex.

Twenty years later, it ended but was revived in 1981.

"Our very first parade in modern times was in 1981. We paraded with the Clones through 1986, and in 1983 we started a new tradition . It was to ride the street car line and proclaim carnival is here," says Hobbs.

"It's all lit up, and it's got decorations and you hear the music. It really does get your spirit rolling," says Jolie Bonck.

Riders and the hundreds of people who wait along the street car line are masked or dressed in costume to kickoff carnival.

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