It’s hot. It is so unbelievably hot that you can cook food on the sidewalk. Your feet will certainly feel like they are cooking if you don’t keep moving. I tell you this because all this heat can mean only one thing: White Linen Night in the Heights is coming.
From 6 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 6 the 200 and 300 block of W. 19th St., will be filled with thousands in their best white linen to people watch, shop, eat and partake in cool beverages.
Having been there from the beginning, I get many of the same questions year after year. This year, I want you to join us informed and dispel any rumors or tall tales.
First of all, it’s going to be hot. The heat is exactly why we wear white linen: it is a cool, breathable fabric that repels dirt and attracts wrinkles. It looks good on everyone! Linen is a fabric woven with fibers from the flax plant. You’ll have to look that up, all I know about flax is some veggie people like to sprinkle flax seeds on their food. I like the way I look in linen, I don’t want to eat it. Yuck.
The event is always on the first Saturday in August. If you do not own a calendar, ask your smart phone, it’s smart, it knows.
Why first Saturday? The original event, which takes place in New Orleans, is on the first Saturday, and we wanted to make everyone in Houston feel guilty about leaving to visit that one so we made ours the same day. It’s hotter in New Orleans anyway, stay here.
What bands are playing? The shops on 19th Street have been hosting events since the early 1880’s, so expect Dixieland, Americana and swing. OK, OK I’m kidding; at least about the music. Our great Shops on 19th host a variety of music and many book their bands a year in advance! All the street’s activities are listed on the website, which is updated almost daily until the event.
Where can I find the First Saturday Arts Market at White Linen Night? This question I find perplexing. Since 2012, the market artists have setup on 19th Street itself. It’s impossible to miss the nearly 85 white canopied tents on both blocks. The artists themselves are an amazing group of talented artists that represent the best we have to offer year round.
Many work on their art for months in advance in preparation for the big day. These are not just local artists, they come from all over Houston, Galveston and Austin. Nearly half are accepted into shows like Bayou City Art Festival, and have their studios in high profile places like the Sawyer Yards Creative Campus and Hardy/Nance. This is definitely a fine art show.
Where can I get more information? Right here in the pages of the The Leader over the next couple of weeks. There are other big changes to the event this year, that and more can be found on the website: theheightswhitelinennight.com.
Friday night in the Houston art world can be likened to West Side Story as Lawndale Art Center’s The Big Show goes up against Hardy and Nance Street’s Salon Des Refusés: Artwork Rejected from the 2016 Lawndale Big Show. Check out both but be sure to hit Lawndale first from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at 4912 Main St. 77002.The Hardy & Nance Studios from 6-10 p.m. at 902 Hardy St. 77020.
Cohen is the founder of First Saturday Arts Market. Contact him through his website ArtValet.com.