Our top picks of the month’s events
The Boys are Back
After a record-breaking, World Champion season, the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints will return to the Superdome with an extra sense of pride. Playing two pre-season games at home, the team will take on the Houston Texans (Aug. 21) and the San Diego Chargers (Aug. 27), determining who will make the cut for the regular season rosters and giving us a taste of what to expect in the regular season. Led by Coach Sean Payton, the heroes in black and gold have been training hard all summer after some well-deserved time off (and champagne brunches, we hope) and will surely, again, give us something to cheer about.
Lovely in Linen
Sometimes it’s difficult to look dignified when the heat index seems higher than your weekly paycheck, but fortunately there is one fabric we can all be thankful for in the summer. That would be linen, particularly white linen, which reflects, rather than absorbs, the sun’s scorching heat. If you pair this fabric with some deodorant, you might even find that it’s possible to leave the home – well, the air-conditioner, and hit the town for a night. Whitney White Linen Night on Aug. 7 celebrates its 16th year in the Arts District between the 300 and 800 blocks of Julia Street, where dozens of galleries throw open their doors to welcome visitors to come in, cool off and check out some stunning works of art, a lot of which has never before been seen, as this evening marks the openings of several exhibitions.
Food, drinks and visual art will be plentiful; noteworthy, too, is the collaboration with the New Orleans Indie Rock Collective, which has curated a mini-festival of music. Ten bands will perform throughout the evening on four stages. The evening ends with a big party at the Contemporary Arts Center with four new art openings, entertainment by the Mod Dance Party DJs and more provocative art, entertainment and libations.
The tongue-in-cheek response to White Linen Night is Dirty Linen Night on Royal Street, Aug. 14. This tongue-in-cheek event, which encourages folks to wear their wine-soaked linens from the week before, began nine years ago and it has become one of the city’s most fun summer events. All manner of art, from original oils and water colors to sculpture, glass, prints and other mixed media, will be displayed – there are also body-painters and street performers, as well, contributing to a truly vibrant French Quarter evening. Information, www.facebook.com/pages/Dirty-Linen-Night.
The Big Uneasy
As the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art will premiere a feature-length documentary, The Big Uneasy, on Aug. 26. Notable humorist (perhaps best known for lending his voice to characters on “The Simpsons,” including Smithers, Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders) Harry Shearer certainly takes on a more serious tone as director of the film. In short segments hosted by “Treme” actor John Goodman, Shearer (who is a local resident) speaks with people about life in the city and gets the inside story of a disaster that could have been prevented. Shearer reveals some of the flawed methods responsible for the levee failure and speaks with investigators and a whistle-blower from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Laced with computer imagery and footage that has never before been seen, the film is a painful reminder of what happened and is also a testament to the spirit of New Orleans residents, seeking to end ignorance and prevent similar catastrophes from happening. The premiere takes place at 8:30 p.m.
Red Dresses Hot Messes
When talking to an out-of-towner about your living habits, you may have heard this phrase before (said with a tinge of envy): “You guys are always looking for an excuse to party.”
This sentiment is difficult to refute. Exhibit A: The Red Dress Run, Aug. 14. This is a popular yearly event that combines a lot of quirky things about New Orleans – daytime drinking, costuming, charity and frankly, the unimaginable: going for a run during the hottest time of the year. Luckily, participants are given what is pretty much an unlimited supply of beer (though New Orleans Magazine encourages you to drink plenty of water, should you choose to participate) throughout the day. The rules are simple: You must wear a red dress, and you must have fun. In its 16th year, the Red Dress Run is organized by the local branch of the Hash House Harriers, an international group that encourages non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs. Last year, the Red Dress Run raised $92,000 for a variety of charities.
What a Wonderful World
Perhaps our most celebrated legend – whose influence has reached all over the world – Louis Armstrong, known fondly as Satchmo, will be honored and feted at the 10th annual Satchmo Summerfest, Aug. 5 – 8, brought to us by French Quarter Festivals Inc. The nonprofit has organized four days of music, seminars, parties and even free dance lessons (in a partnership with NOLA Jitterbugs).
Six stages situated downtown will be packed with musicians including Some Like it Hot, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, the Storyville Stompers, Baby Boyz Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers and dozens more.