All because it's Carnival time.
Yes, tonight is Twelfth Night, the Epiphany. And instead of 12 drummers drumming as foretold in the famous Christmas carol, we in New Orleans get raucous greetings to welcome Carnival season and begin the countdown that inexorably leads to Mardi Gras day, just 49 costume-making, parade-riding, party-throwing days from now.
Some New Orleans homes will host parties to celebrate the start of the season tonight, and Carnival songs are bound to be heard on some local radio stations all day.
Meanwhile the mysterious organization known as the Phunny Phorty Phellows (pictured above during their 2007 ride) will herald the season with their traditional streetcar ride along Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue, departing at 7 p.m. from the RTA's Canal Street maintenance barn.
For a map of the group's route and some history on the organization, go to their web site.