Full of Hot Air
Around the world in 80 days doesn’t seem so far fetched after you see what balloons can do at the Pennington National Hot Air Balloon Championship, Aug. 2 to 6, and the Louisiana State Championship, Aug. 4 to 6, in Baton Rouge. Top pilots from around the country will be scored on the accuracy of markers dropped at designated targets. In addition to the competitions, there will be balloon glows and live music, as well as fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights. The event is free and will be located at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at the corner of Perkins Road and Kenilworth Parkway. Information, www.laballooning.com or www.brec.org.

In the Swing of Things
Not much – except a thunderstorm – can keep dedicated golfers from playing. Not even the sweltering heat of August. So where do duffers and their lower handicap brethren head to? Audubon Park Golf Course. For $30 during the week (Tues.-Fri.) and $36 on weekends, golfers get a round (with a golf cart) on this Dennis Griffiths-designed, 18-hole, par 62, public golf course. It’s open 7 a.m. to dusk. Calling 212-5290 for a tee time is recommended.
After their rounds, golfers can head to the Audubon Park Golf Clubhouse for its breakfast buffet, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., or lunch buffet, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cocktails and snacks are served after lunch until 5 p.m. The clubhouse is also open to the public.
However, if that last day on the links turned into a bogey extravaganza, get some practice at the City Park driving range (Filmore Avenue off of Wisner Blvd.). Open Tues.-Fri., 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the price of a bucket of balls – $10 – your golf swing may take a turn for the better.

The Price of Love
Does love come with a price tag? Two theatrical plays this month demonstrate how much love can cost – but in two very different ways.
A family feud and doomed romance – the basis of “Romeo and Juliet,” on stage Aug. 3-12 for the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Information, 865-5105, ext. 2.
Have you ever added up how much you have spent on your children? In “Callie’s Tally,” presented by Southern Rep, the main character, Betsy, does just that. Based on a best-selling book by Betsy Howie, the play shows that there is a price to pay for love. Information, 522-6545.

Tooting Our Own Horn
New Orleans honors one of its own – Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong – at the annual “Satchmo SummerFest,” Aug. 3-6. The Armstrong-inspired event includes discussions, jazz exhibits, a jazz mass, children’s activities, a club crawl, local food and a star-studded line up of music in the French Quarter’s French Market. Information, 522-5730 or http://fgfi.org.

Painting the Town
If you haven’t worn that new white linen outfit yet, now is the time: White Linen Night is Aug. 5, 6-9 p.m. Julia Street, and the art galleries along it, will be inundated with those in their lightest and brightest of linen, sipping cocktails, checking out the art and each other, and enjoying the musical entertainment. Afterwards is a party at the Contemporary Arts Center, 9 p.m. to midnight. Information, 210-0224.
If you spilt something on said white linen, not to fret (now that it’s almost impossible to get dry cleaning done in less than a week), because it’s encouraged to be a little less dressed up at Dirty Linen Night, the French Quarter’s answer to the CBD’s White Linen Night. Held Aug. 12, 6-9 p.m., the art galleries and stores in the 600 to 1000 blocks of Royal Street will be open showing their wares. Information, 552-4511.