White Linen Night, Red Dress Run, Dirty Linen Night
Satchmo Summerfest “August 4th”
An event that started out to be a one-time-only tribute to the 100th anniversary of a great musician’s birth proved to be so popular that it is now celebrating its own tenth anniversary.
Satchmo SummerFest, a four-day commemoration of the music and legacy of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, opens on August 4, 2011, which just happens to be the exact day 110 years earlier that Armstrong was born in a poor, run-down section of New Orleans to an unwed mother. By the time of his death at age 70, he had completely revolutionized American popular music and introduced it to the world. Satchmo SummerFest is an ongoing tribute that has become one of the great highlights of summer in the city that Satchmo always called home.
Whitney White Linen Night
Saturday, August 6, 2011
It’s a free block party and everyone is invited!
Actually, it’s a five-block party and, since it’s the middle of the summer, partiers are invited to beat the heat in their coolest white outfits. It’s the 17th Annual Whitney White Linen Night on Saturday evening, August 6.
From 6-9 p.m. in the 300-700 blocks of Julia Street and along adjacent side streets, more than twenty art galleries will open their doors for casual strollers and art aficionados alike to browse and hopefully buy the works of some of New Orleans’ finest fine artists.
Since its founding in 1994, White Linen Night has become one of the high points of the summer in New Orleans, bringing in close to 20,000 people to the city’s “Soho of the South” on the first Saturday of August. The Warehouse/Arts District, where WLN takes place, has been favorably compared to the arts districts of other major cities like New York and San Francisco.
With the doors of the district’s art galleries wide open to all, there will be live music on several stages in the middle of the street from some of New Orleans’ top musicians. For small charges, there will also be samplings of the city’s world-famous cuisine from local restaurants and cool drinks (including wine) to sip on for those who make the gallery hop. Complimentary hand-held fans will be given out by the participating galleries to help patrons keep cool.
Musicians who will be performing on Julia Street include Alex McMurray’s Old Timey Revue, sultry songstress Ingrid Lucia and the National World War II Museum’s Victory Belles trio of singers.
And, in keeping with tradition, those who attend are strongly encouraged to wear white linen outfits and even hats. The tradition dates back to the years before air conditioning in homes and vehicles, when New Orleanians lessened the effects of the summer heat by wearing white linen clothing. Men wore white suits to reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s heat, and women wore white dresses for the same reason.
Red Dress Run
Saturday, August 13
Sponsored by the Hash House Harriers, a self-proclaimed “drinking club with a running problem,” the Annual Red Dress Run through the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans is another of those uniquely New Orleans fun events that doubles as a fundraiser. It is open to men and women alike and though the concept originated as a charitable event to raise money for breast cancer research, it donates its proceeds to other charities as well.
This year’s Red Dress Run will take place on Saturday, August 13. The starting point for the run will be announced. The registration fee is $60, which goes up to $75 after August 1.
The run is usually between 3 and 4 miles (no one clocks it exactly) and participants start assembling, registering and drinking(!) at 9:00 a.m. There is live music before and after the race which begins at 12:30 p.m. Participation is open to anyone over 21 “who has a good sense of humor and realizes that August in New Orleans is HOT!” Wearing a red dress (or less!) is an absolute requirement. What you get for your participation is “Beer, Food, Music, Giveaways, and stories to tell your kids.”
Saturday, August 13
Following closely on the heels of Whitney White Linen Night – on the following weekend, in fact – is another free celebration of the arts: the annual Dirty Linen Night in the French Quarter. On Saturday evening, August 13, the art and antiques galleries along Royal Street and adjacent streets stage their own summer celebration and open their doors to casual strollers and serious art buyers alike.
Revelers from White Linen Night whose outfits are stained from that night are encouraged to wear those soiled outfits to Dirty Linen Night, and some of the Royal Street galleries will even have laundry baskets outside their doors. And, in keeping with the theme, some of the galleries will also be serving “dirty” rice and “dirty” martinis.
There will be live music and other types of live entertainment on the sidewalks all along scenic, historic Royal Street with its picturesque architecture and oft-photographed iron-lace balconies dating back to the 1800s. There will also be live entertainment in nearby Dutch Alley, as well as art demonstrations and gallery grand openings.
Only in New Orleans could there be two great, fun-filled artistic events back-to-back! Hours for Dirty Linen Night are 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
New Orleans Seafood Festival
September 9 – 11, 2011
New Orleans is world-renowned for the taste and fresh quality of its seafood, much of which comes from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. Given that reputation, organizers of the New Orleans Seafood Festival felt there was no better place to hold such a festival and they turned it into a three-day event.
This year’s 5th Annual New Orleans Seafood Festival will be held from Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11 in Lafayette Square, across from historic Gallier Hall on St. Charles Avenue in downtown New Orleans. The free festival features live entertainment, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, local arts and crafts and world-famous cuisine from top New Orleans restaurants and caterers.
Festival hours begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Closing times are open but generally around sunset.
This year’s participating restaurants and other food vendors, and their specialties, include: