Happy New Year! The holiday season may be over, but the good times are just getting started in New Orleans. January means one thing in the 504: Mardi Gras is coming! There is a lot taking place in New Orleans during the month of January, and 2018 will be a particularly exciting year in New Orleans because of the Tricentennial, the city’s 300th birthday. Here is the month at a glance:
1/6 - The Beginning of Carnival
King’s Day, or the Epiphany, marks the official beginning of the Mardi Gras season! This is the first day many people believe you can officially indulge in King Cake and the sweet treat is a party staple until Mardi Gras day on February 13th. Because of the Tricentennial this year, January 6 marks a King’s Day celebration complete with fireworks on the river at 9 p.m.
Celebrate the beginning of the 2018 Carnival season with the Phunny Phorty Phellows! Instead of using traditional floats, the Phunny Phorty Phellows also ‘Herald the Arrival of Carnival,’ the krewe loads up on a street car and rides all way the down St. Charles Ave. - from Uptown to Canal Street - and back. The Phellows, who first took to the streets in 1878 (with a long break that lasted from 1898 until 1981) is known for its satirical costumes. This year’s streetcar ride begins at the Willow Street Car Barn at 7:00 p.m. and will make its way down to Canal St. and back.
1/6 - Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc
Another parade! The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc parades every year on the birthday of Joan of Arc every year, January 6. This is the 10-year anniversary of the parade celebrating this French war hero.The walking parade features a medieval-themed procession through the French Quarter -make sure you’re in your spot to catch the spectacle at 6 p.m. sharp.
1/7 - St. Louis Tricentennial Mass
Kick off the city's Tricentennial at it's most iconic location! The first Sunday of the new year brings an inaugural mass with it and the Tricentennial Mass at St. Louis Cathedral will welcome the new year. Opening mass begins at 11 a.m. on January 7.
1/15 - Volunteer on MLK Day
Whether you’re looking to volunteer or join in on community celebrations for MLK Day, there are plenty of options. On January 15 at 9 a.m., join the city of New Orleans at Al Davis Park for a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration program followed by a communal block party on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. at noon. Participate in City Year New Orleans’s Day of Service on MLK Day, January 15, 2018 if you’re looking to volunteer.
1/27- Krewe du Vieux
Krewe du Vieux is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar. In the old tradition, it is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best brass and traditional jazz bands in New Orleans. The raunchiest parade around, Krewe du Vieux will be held on January 27rd, starting at 6:30 p.m. on the corner of Decatur and Mandeville Street and wrap up on the corner of O’ Keefe Avenue and Lafayette Street.
1/28 - King Cake Fest
At King Cake Festival, over a dozen local shops offer samples of their King Cakes, so you can try every variety. The festival also features food trucks, live music, and drinks. At the end of it all, vote for your favorite dessert! The festival will be held in Champion's Square on Sunday, January 28th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Vendor booths will be located within the square, and a stage playing live music will keep your spirits high.