NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the rest of America winds down from the parties, overeating and merriment of Christmas and New Year’s, New Orleans keeps the party going. Mardi Gras season officially kicks off Sunday. Jan. 6 is often referred to as Epiphany, Twelfth Night or Three Kings’ Day and commemorates the day the Bible says the three wise men reached the baby Jesus. For weeks, the city is taken over by elaborate parades and people stuffing their faces with sugary king cake. The party culminates on Fat Tuesday, which this year falls on March 5.
Here’s a look at some of the things to expect this Mardi Gras season:
Number - Groups - Krewes - Streets - Sunday
A number of parading groups often dubbed krewes take to the streets Sunday to kick things off. One group parades through the French Quarter to honor the fallen French hero, Joan d’Arc. Another group, Phunny Phorty Phellows, heralds the arrival of Carnival with a streetcar ride down St. Charles Ave. wearing costumes. This year they’ll be trailed by a new group called the Funky Uptown Krewe, who will ride on a separate streetcar with New Orleans producer and rapper DJ Mannie Fresh performing. Craig Mangum, the krewe’s founder, said they’ll also be handing out CDs and mixtapes featuring New Orleans artists such as Bonerama and Hot 8 Brass Band. Riders will also be wearing costumes, he said: “As funky as you want.”
Probably the biggest single sign that Mardi Gras season is upon us is king cake. The ring-shaped cakes often decorated in the Mardi Gras tri-color of purple, green and gold can be found at bakeries, restaurants, office parties and homes across town during the season. Cakes can be plain or filled with fruit and cream or laced with cinnamon. Bakers go all out.
Example - Alton - Osborn - Bywater - Bakery
For example, Alton Osborn, who owns Bywater Bakery with...