SoHo of the South, more commonly known as New Orleans’ Warehouse District, is also synonymous with the arts district of New Orleans. Every summer, the creative neighborhood comes together to host what is called White Linen Night.
It’s always the first Saturday evening in August. Traffic is stopped for four blocks of Julia Street, and a three-hour, New Orleans-style block party commences. In true New Orleans fashion, it’s free and open to the public.
Sponsored by Whitney Bank, the 300 to 600 blocks of Julia Street are transformed by stages for live entertainment that accompany the art galleries passing out freebies. This year, the event will consist of 20 museums and galleries along with 25 local restaurants. Cash bars and cuisine will be offered by Boucherie, Broussard’s, Beaucoup Juice, Bratz Y’all, Charcoal’s Gourmet Burger Bar, Crêpes à la Cart, Food Drunk, Foundation Room at House of Blues, King Fish, LMNO, Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, Marti’s Restaurant, Mopho, Nirvana Indian Cuisine, NOLA Foods, NOLA Girl, Pinkberry, Rue 127, Saucy’s BBQ, SoBou, St. Lawrence, The American Sector Restaurant & Bar, The Mellow Mushroom, and The Ruby Slipper Café.
Attendees are encouraged to dress in as much white attire as they can. White linen was specifically chosen for its breeziness to represent keeping cool in the hot New Orleans summer, though it is not required.
One week after White Linen Night, the French Quarter continues the party that began in the Warehouse District—in the same linens! This time, it’s called Dirty Linen Night. Produced by MyHouseNewOrleans, it’s held on Saturday, August 8, on the 200 to 1000 blocks of Royal Street.
Attendees will cross a great number of historic shops that sell jewelry, home accessories, antiques, costumes, decorative arts, wigs, hats, antiquarian books, collectables and art on display. Original oils, sculptures, prints, mixed media, glass art, and watercolors will be also be showcased.
Dirty Linen Night will also feature a variety of entertainment, just like White Linen. Not only will there be live music to be enjoyed, but wandering clowns and mimes are just a few of the eclectic entertainment features to be seen throughout the night.
Originally, Dirty Linen Night was meant to be a spoof of White Linen Night. Slowly but surely over the past 12 years, it has evolved into its own full-scale art event. Dirty Linen Night showcases local artists and galleries as well as antique and craft shops.
Like White Linen, Dirty Linen Night is free and open to the public, and as many as 40- 50 galleries and shops are expected to participate. It is held from 6 p.m. to around 9 p.m.
The idea is that attendees are to wear the same linens that they wore on White Linen Night—unwashed. Stains are welcome!