Carnival season begins on January 6 and culminates on Mardi Gras, February 25. The Feast of the Epiphany—or Twelfth Night as it is more commonly called—is the first night of celebrations, parades, and parties leading up to Shrove Tuesday.
The Mystik Krewe de la Rue Royale Revelers kicks off the season with its annual Twelfth Night Party. The highlight of the party is the Procession of Previous Grand Revelers and the announcement of the new Grand Reveler. This is followed by a meeting of the courts of the Rue Royale Revelers and the outgoing and incoming King Cake Queens of the Krewe of Queenateenas. The Captains and Royalty of the other gay krewes are recognized at the party as well.
2020 marks the 62nd season of Gay Carnival. In 1958, a group of friends formed the Krewe of Yuga. Yuga dissolved after its 1962 Ball was raided by the police, but other gay krewes arose and by the late 1970s and early 1980s, there were close to twenty gay krewes (including Ishtar, the only lesbian krewe). Throughout the last sixty years, Gay Carnival has afforded the gay community a creative outlet for its artistic talents. From ball invitations to costume designs, the Gay Krewes’ Bal Masques are a wonderland of distinctive gay expression.
The Rue Royale Revelers 2020 Party—also known as Frank’s Twelfth Night Party because the krewe grew out of an annual gathering at krewe founder Frank Perez’s home on Royal Street—will take place at the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 1010 Conti Street, on January 6 from 7:00 to 10:00pm. Advance tickets ($20) are available on Eventbrite or at 638 St. Ann Street. Tickets at the door are $25. The party will feature an open bar, complimentary food, go-go boys, and the sounds of legendary DJ Jimmy Armstrong. Dress Code is whatever you’re comfortable in.
Who will be crowned Grand Reveler VI? Find out on January 6.