Just because the heat makes everyone want to slow to a crawl, that doesn’t mean New Orleans stops for August. Quite the opposite, in fact. The August calendar is chock full of some of the premier events of the calendar year take place out in the syrupy air.
We’ve compiled a few of the events you need to know about this month to keep your spirits up through the dog days. Don your white linen and whatever costumes made it through Carnival season. You’re also going to want your comfiest shoes and a water bottle. The next month goes hard.
White Linen/Dirty Linen Night
The two biggest events on New Orleans’ art calendar reinvigorate the otherwise swampy and still streets of the Warehouse District and the Quarter. White Linen Night will bring thousands of revelers to the upper-crust-iest stretch of Julia Street. The free alcohol and DJs guarantees that bougie and broke alike will loosen up while they rub elbows.
Dirty Linen Night takes over Royal Street the next week. The same night as the Red Dress Run, it mixes old-clothes-wearing art types with runners who have been drinking since 7 a.m. Expect a good time.
When: August 4 and 11, respectively.
Where: Julia St. and Royal St.
Tank and The Bangas
We can think of one thing that’s better than Tank and The Bangas — let us finish, y’all — and that’s Tank and The Bangas for free. The sudden superstars are playing a free set at Aloft on Baronne St., as the hotel tries to find another star in the crowd via their talent contest.
When: August 9. Doors at 6:30, show at 7.
Where: Aloft New Orleans, 225 Baronne St.
Red Dress Run
You couldn’t miss the New Orleans Hash House Harriers’ annual charity drive and run if you tried. The men and women all decked in bright red dresses cut a noticeable figure as they run or amble through the Marigny and the French Quarter. We can’t blame anyone for wanting to throw a dress on in the middle of the summer. Airflow is critical.
When: August 11. Runners arrive at 9 a.m. Run begins at 11 a.m.
Where: Crescent Park
New Orleans Oddities & Curiosities Expo
The traveling showcase of all things odd, unusual and almost-certainly dead comes to New Orleans (well, Westwego) on the 18th. Tons of vendors will fill the Alario Center with creepy photographs, oddball art, bones and “wet specimens.” Try not to shudder. We dare you.
When: August 18, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Alario Center, 2000 Segnette Blvd., Westwego
Midsummer Mardi Gras
The official halfway point to Mardi Gras brings a slightly more compact version of the madcap month-long party uptown. Krewe of O.A.K parades in outfits that are as skimpy as a regular Mardi Gras parade, but feel more seasonally appropriate.
When: August 25, 7 p.m.
Where: Parade starts at the Maple Leaf Bar, 8316 Oak St.
COOLinary New Orleans
The main reason to stay in New Orleans through August is the annual tradition of grabbing deals on some of the city’s best gastronomic offerings. Over 100 restaurants across the city are slashing prices or offering new low-price menus entice locals to beat the typical summertime service industry blues.
When: All August long
Close out the madcap month with the only event that can make New Orleans annual Pride celebration look tame. Southern Decadence brings hundreds of thousands of revelers to New Orleans to celebrate all things LGBT and watch the most opulent parades imaginable. Decadence’s tendency to focus on the French Quarter means that crowds will be tightly packed for their must-see walking parades.
When: August 30-September 3