Carnival season begins with ride of Phunny Phorty Phellows
NEW ORLEANS - The countdown to Mardi Gras is beginning in New Orleans, marked by a streetcar full of raucous costumed revelers.
The group known as the Phunny Phorty Phellows kicks off Carnival season Wednesday night by riding a streetcar from the transit storage barns in the Carrollton neighborhood, down St. Charles Avenue to Canal Street at the edge of the French Quarter.
Carnival season begins on Jan. 6 - the "Twelfth Night" after Christmas. It is celebrated along the Gulf Coast with parties, balls and parades culminating on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a final day of celebration before the solemnity of Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 9 this year.