White Linen Night

A few friends and I went to Julia street in the Warehouse Arts District of New Orléans to gallery-hop during Contemporary Arts Center’s White Linen Night. White Linen Night is something like a block party that lasts for three hours on the first Saturday evening every August. Hundreds of art enthusiasts, shoppers, and music-lovers stroll through the art galleries along Julia Street and adjacent side streets. On the typically hot and humid night, people keep cool with cocktails and hand-held fans as they venture from one gallery or booth to another. There is also a sampling of New Orleans’ world-famous cuisine from local restaurants, and the outdoor celebration includes stages and live entertainment by some of New Orleans’ most eclectic musicians.

While most people are dressed in white, the dress code is not strictly enforced. In fact, during the years before air conditioning in homes and cars, New Orleanians stayed cool by wearing white linen clothing because white reflects, rather than absorbs, heat. The Warehouse District merchants began throwing the White Linen Night in 1994 and it has become a summertime tradition.

The streets are always packed with a fun time, and the official post-party at the Contemporary Arts Center is the place to be! You can expect to hear cool music by a DJ, peruse the art, and mingle with an enthusiastic crowd.


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