White Linen Night in The Heights – An Invite and Some History

It’s about that time in the Heights – White Linen Night is coming on August 4, so save the date.  We’ll be open here at Circa from 5 to 10 p.m. with wine, snacks, and friends.  Feel free to stop by and say, “Hello!”

Have you ever wondered where the White Linen Night tradition started?  As Heights residents, this is a fairly new event for us that came over from New Orleans with the mass movement resulting from Hurricane Katrina.

In centuries past, New Orleans residents would wear white linen to beat the humid summertime heat.  Men wore white suits and hats, while ladies would don white dresses and wide-brimmed white hats.  The style quickly went out when air-conditioned vehicles appeared on the scene.

In 1984, the World’s Fair was held in New Orleans near the city’s Warehouse District, which was mostly rundown at the time.  Soon after, an urban renewal transformed many of the dilapidated old buildings into lofts, condos, and art galleries.  In the early 1990’s, many of the gallery owners put their heads together in an attempt to spark interest among art aficionados.  White Linen Night was the result.

When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it was devastating for the city.   Since so many New Orleans residents relocated to Houston, it makes sense that some of the culture would have transferred to us, as well.  In 2006, we adopted the tradition of White Linen Night, and it’s been an annual event in the Heights ever since.

If you’ve never been to a White Linen Night, it’s definitely worth getting out in the heat for it.  There is live music, many of the businesses offer free hors d’oeuvres and drinks, lots of art and other entertainment, and it’s a great way to meet your neighbors.  It generally takes place on 19th Street, 11th Street, and Heights Blvd.

This year’s theme is “Local Faces, Local Flavor, Local Fun!”  White Linen Night will be raising money for the Heights Fire Station Restoration and Renovation Project.

So brave the heat in your best white linen wear, and come by the Cooley Mansion for some air conditioning, socializing, and drinks!