When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August of 2005, Houston welcomed an estimated 250,000 evacuees from the Gulf Coast. Among the displaced, the largest population hailed from New Orleans, the city hit hardest by the catastrophic event. About 40,000 of these New Orleanians chose to stay and lay roots down here in Houston, a resilient city with intimate knowledge of how to rebuild and recover. Our cities have many similarities--both are built on warm marshlands, adjacent to the ocean, thriving on saltwater air and good food. Adding to the melting pot of what was already one of the most diverse cities in America, denizens of New Orleans have woven their threads into the fabric of Houston, bringing with them the vibrant and historic culture and traditions of The Big Easy. One of the most cherished of these traditions is undoubtedly White Linen Night in the Heights.
After opening a boutique on historic 19th Street in 2006, New Orleans transplants Chris and Kay Thayer brought a beloved summertime tradition from the French Quarter to the Heights. Long before the days of air conditioning, folks would don white linen to keep cool and reflect the sun’s sizzling rays, strolling along the Warehouse District in New Orleans. Revelers would browse artwork and handmade goods, socializing and soaking in their community’s creativity. The party atmosphere continues on August 4th from 6-10 p.m., with 19th Street lined with live music, shopping, food and drink, and local businesses joining in with specials.
Uber will be officially sponsoring the event to ensure that everyone gets home safely. Admission is open to the public and free, but don’t leave the wallet at home--Houston’s finest local artists will have killer deals, and the food and drink can’t be missed. Be sure to visit the sponsors such as Boomtown Coffee for their award-winning brew, Alice Blue (our Brunch of the Month for June), and Harold’s for their unbeatable Southern comfort food. Manready Mercantile has unique vintage and handmade clothes and home goods, but they’re also known for offering a cool glass of whiskey to interested shoppers. Casa Ramirez has artisan-made folk art with a Southwestern flair, and rumor has it, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is slated to make an appearance.
Dancing in the Street won’t just be a Bowie song anymore, as the entire 200 and 300 block of 19th Street will be roped off for just that purpose. While White Linen Night is a great way to meet neighbors, all of Houston’s movers and shakers make the journey for this annual celebration. As for the attire, well, it’s not just a catchy name. You don’t want to be the only person not wearing white, so plan accordingly before the big day. RSVP to the Facebook event to stay updated and don’t forget to use the Instagram hashtag #WLN2018 to tag your best selfies.