What Is White Linen Night, Anyway?

White Linen Night. Streets are blocked off, local companies everywhere are holding events, and for some reason, everyone is dressed in all white. What does it mean, and why do we do it?

A New Orleans Tradition

White Linen Night originated from a centuries-old New Orleans tradition. While traversing the outdoors in the stifling heat (Houston can sympathize), the people of New Orleans decided that wearing all white was a great way to lessen the effects of the sun.

Once the World’s Fair took place in 1984 and urban warehouses were turned into unique art galleries, New Orleans decided to take that tradition and make a party out of it (because, really, why not?).

The first White Linen Night was in 1994, and helped bring attention to the local culture and arts. Now, always the first Saturday evening in August, New Orleans has a block party that is free to anyone and draws in crowds by the hundreds.


Why In Houston?

In 2005, a devastating and extremely destructive storm struck the Gulf. We all know her name—Hurricane Katrina. The 400-mile-wide hurricane displaced 80% of New Orleans, with hundreds of thousands of people becoming sudden refugees in Houston.

Without a home or a business to return to in New Orleans, many had to find a new home in Houston, starting from scratch. No longer refugees, our new Houstonians have brought their culture, their art, and their love to the city—and White Linen Night is further proof of that.


Celebrating Arts in Houston

In 2006, one year after the hurricane, New Orleans transplants Chris and Kay Thayer decided to bring one of their favorite events to Houston: White Linen Night. The reopened their jewelry boutique on 19th Street in the Heights, and saw similarities in the unique art culture that poured through the Heights and the art of New Orleans that was so openly celebrated.

Since its first year, White Linen Nights has brought community and art to the Heights like never before. Now the largest community social event of the year in the Heights, on White Linen Night locals don the white clothes to deflect the heat and draw on the New Orleans tradition.

Most importantly, this event is a chance to celebrate the various and diverse arts and cultures within our city. And that is why 19th Street traffic is shut down, companies open their doors, art and music fill the streets, and for this night in the year, the community joins together.

This year, White Linen Night will be on August 5, and celebrations will last into the night. It’s a free event; all you need to do is show up to 19th Street (and other local businesses who are participating) in your white linens and enjoy the diverse music, art, and culture of Houston.

Celebrations at Circa Real Estate

Though Circa Real Estate has celebrated White Linen Night for a while now, this will be our first time celebrating it on 19th Street, and we couldn’t be more excited.

From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Circa Real Estate will be serving Alli’s Pizza from Harold’s Restaurant & Bar and be offering the Circa 1950 cocktail to our guests. Here’s a link to our Facebook event so you can mark your calendars!

Our address is 350 W 19th Street, Suite D, Houston TX 77008, just in case you haven’t already been by. And, if that’s the case… Come on by! We’re in the same building as Harold’s Restaurant & Bar, and always have local art on display and a cold drink in the fridge. We love talking local real estate, and are happy to answer any questions you have about Houston.


Free Art Show at Circa: Shelbi Nicole

We will be celebrating local artist Shelbi Nicole with a free art show, right here in our 19th Street storefront. Vivid color patterns and abstract imagery, Shelbi is a highly celebrated artist in Houston—with her one of most “Instagram-ed” art right outside of our building, the “I Love You” street art mural. Also loved by photographers is the “Polka Dot” wall, also in the Heights.

Shelbi Nicole, with her art wall for the Houston Press’ Artopia event.

Shelbi works with oils, watercolor, metal, wood, acrylic, and even paper collage, using anything she can find to express herself and speak to her audience.

Come celebrate her art and our community (and enjoy pizza) at Circa Real Estate, August 5 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Afterwards, we’ll be joining you all in the streets in our best white linens to enjoy the wonderful Heights community we all think is worth celebrating.

Helpful Links:

Shelbi Nicole

Houston Chronicle: Ten Years After Katrina

Houston Chronicle: White Linen Night

The History of Hurricane Katrina

White Linen Night in New Orleans