Our top picks of the month’s events
Red Dress Run, Aug. 8
Put on Your Game Face
While many of us are taking time to relax this summer, the New Orleans Saints have been hard at work under the hot sun. Fresh from training camp, the black-and-gold will play preseason games on Aug. 14 (against the Cincinnati Bengals) and Sept. 3 (against the Miami Dolphins). Home games will be held at the Louisiana Superdome, and the first few games are crucial in terms of paring down the roster to see who makes the cut. The team signed free agents cornerback Jabari Greer, safeties Darren Sharper and Pierson Prioleau, and first-round draft pick cornerback Malcolm Jenkins. The new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams [Ed.Note: See Persona, page 26] has installed an attacking defense that had players swarming to the ball during the off-season practice sessions. It is going to be an exciting season, and it’s time to get out your beer cozies, gold body-paint and best game face.
August in this city is absurdly hot, and while sometimes it just seems wrong to see people out running in this weather, the Red Dress Run is a rare exception.
People who participate in the annual run are fully aware of the absurdity involved: the humidity and the hilarious ensembles. People don’t just wear red dresses, they often accent them with wigs, sunglasses, wild socks and other accessories.
Ultimately, what brings these people together is their senses of humor and the collective desire to let loose in the stifling weather. Consider it ubiquitous advice to not take life too seriously.
This year, the run will be held Aug. 8, starting at the Ernst Café. It is organized, per usual, by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers. The fees for joining the “race” will buy you beer at designated bars; but the proceeds go to a variety of charities around the city and state.
Wednesdays on the Point
If you’re missing the mid-week fill of music that we all thought had stopped with Wednesdays at the Square, your void may have just been filled with a new hump-day concert series called “Wednesdays on the Point,” a grassroots effort of local merchants and neighbors of Algiers Point. It was Initiated by the Algiers Economic Development Foundation, which aims to promote economic growth, retain businesses, encourage residential development and promote Algiers.
All of the events are within just a few blocks’ walk of hotspots for dinner, drinks and live music, and they are all within walking distance of the Algiers Point Ferry Landing, making it convenient to even those who are traveling from the east bank. From 6-8 p.m. the events this month will feature Amanda Shaw Duo at Louie’s Corner Bar (Aug. 5) and Betty Harris & the All-Soul Band at the Old Point Bar (Aug. 12).
Midsummer Mardi Gras
If you’re one of those New Orleanians who can’t get enough of Mardi Gras (and let’s be honest: most of us fall into that category), and you find yourself throughout the year occasionally staring wistfully at the feather headdress or the amassed collection of beads and trinkets atop your bookshelf, mark your calendar for Aug. 29, which is when Midsummer Mardi Gras, presented by the Krewe of Oak, will take place. This is a walking parade, there are no motorized floats, and anyone is welcome to join in, though we’re informed that the options are to either “wear a costume or don’t wear anything at all.” It’s one of the most fun block parties of the year, with brass bands, revelers, abundant drinks and camaraderie. Beginning outside the Maple Leaf around 9:15 p.m. the parade will make its way through the neighborhood, stopping along the way at various local watering holes. The parade’s theme this year is “Beat It” – a tribute to Michael Jackson, and most likely a statement to all hurricanes that dare venture our way this summer.
Airing your Laundry
Another event this month that involves, or rather, encourages unconventional outfits is the Vieux Carré Soiree (formerly known as Dirty Linen Night) on Aug. 8, as the tongue-in-cheek follow-up to the more pristine White Linen Night (held Aug. 2). This year’s theme is “Aargh – For the Arts” which urges patrons to dress as pirates, or at least admire those who do.
Attendees can also enjoy beverages that are provided by Glazer’s Companies of Louisiana, the premiere sponsor. From 6-9 p.m., galleries and shops will open their doors along Royal Street, while local bands play in the background. Also be on the lookout for live body painting and great deals on original pieces of art, home décor, jewelry and other local treasures.
Information, 432-7629, www.facebook.com/vieuxcarresoiree.