Every year it’s a sight to behold, and this year’s block party is right around the corner! Get ready to dress up and enjoy Houston’s hit summer event! White Linen Night returns August 5th from 6-10PM on 19th Street. See you there!
Where Did White Linen Night Originate?
White Linen Night originated in New Orleans with the first celebration held in 1994. A World’s Fair in the 80s led to the revitalization of the city’s warehouse district where many historic buildings were located and for quite some time remained empty. After the fair, art galleries began moving into the old warehouses, which happened to be ideal for displaying art due to their spacious open floor plans.
At this time, contemporary art was not as established as a part of New Orleans culture, and the new art galleries depended on each other to foster a sense of artistic community. In an effort to draw new crowds to the once abandoned area, the art galleries coordinated an event together that would run in the middle of the summer. Since Louisiana is so hot at this time, there was typically a lack of events until the fall when temperatures began to drop. Hosting a midsummer event defied expectations, but it garnered a large amount of publicity and has occurred annually ever since. In order to weather the extreme heat each year, the new crowds of art lovers and partygoers began to embrace the centuries old tradition of wearing white to stay cool.
Houston’s Annual Tradition
Our version of the celebration began after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. When hundreds of thousands of people saw their homes and businesses destroyed by the storm, many natives of New Orleans resettled in Houston. Some of these new residents recognized similarities between the two cities in places like 19th Street, and let’s not forget about the familiar blistering heat! A few business owners on the iconic street were former New Orleans residents and saw this as an opportunity to bring a little bit of their culture to their new home. In 2006 Houston had its first White Linen Night celebration where pedestrians overwhelmed the streets, creating a sea of white that was quite a spectacle!
How to Participate and What To Wear
Anyone is welcome to attend the event! People from all over Houston flock to 19th Street each year to celebrate which makes for a lively occasion. With everyone traveling to the heights, parking will be tight around the event. There is usually parking on surrounding streets, but 19th will be closed to traffic. If you are worried about finding parking or plan on getting drinks, we recommend that you take a rideshare service like Uber, Lyft or Alto. You might see people wearing fancy dresses, sharp suits with old fashioned hats, or classic breezy T-shirts, all in white of course! Whether you decide to dress for comfort or for class, just be sure to wear a white shirt to join the fun!
What to Expect
White Linen Night is a great opportunity to check out all the charming small businesses that 19th Street has to offer. There is just about every option you could think of, all on one walkable street! Everything from cute clothing and jewelry stores, cozy coffee shops, to tasty restaurants, bars and record stores has a place on 19th Street. For the event there will even be an arts market full of local creators and vendors to shop from as well. Who can resist taking a walk through a cute arts market while listening to live music as they play it on the street? It’s the hit event of everyone’s summer! Whether you go to shop, snack, or just take in the ambience, there is something for everyone to enjoy and explore. If you’re lucky you might even get an invite to one of the private parties happening on and around 19th Street. Circa Real Estate for one is hosting an exclusive pet and kid-friendly pre-party, and last year’s was super fun! If you want more details, contact your Circa Agent. Don’t miss out!