Why I'm Excited About August In New Orleans (+ You Should Be Too)

August is arguably one of my least favorite times of the year.  Well, okay, not arguably...with the risk of sounding like a grade school-er, it actually IS my least favorite time of the year.  (Not that I actually mind school in the first place...)  As an adult, I find myself disliking August because it is the one month that lies between me and the beginnings of Fall celebrations.  (Which, in case you can't tell, is obviously my favorite season, followed closely by winter.)  It's also usually the hottest month of the year, which does not appeal to my better nature. AT. ALL.  Talk about grouchy.

To be completely honest, as someone who lived in Florida for 8 years of her life, I thought I'd be better prepared for the NOLA heat.  But the Big Easy certainly has taken me by surprise.  This is some of the stickiest, muggiest weather I've ever encountered.  And no, I'm not exaggerating.  It's no wonder that August marks a lull in both the tourism and wedding industries here in NOLA.

That's why I'm completely shocked to find myself looking forward to August this year...in large part thanks to New Orleans.

You sure are sly, NOLA. 

So, why, exactly, am I so excited for the hottest 31 days of summer this year? 

Well, for one, my bridal shower is taking place at the end of the month!  I'm super excited because this will be the first time all of my bridesmaids and I will be together...ever!  I can't wait for all of them to meet, and to visit with some family and friends that I haven't seen in a hot minute.  Plus, the shower is being held in my hometown of Chicago, so I get a short break from the NOLA heat and get to do some catching up with some of my nearest and dearest.  The only downside to this is the sudden realization that our big day is literally around the corner, and I still feel like I have a million-and-one things to do.  Yikes!

Another reason August is made a little bit sweeter each year is the fact that a very special boy- my SO- celebrates his birthday this month, as well.  Birthdays and celebrating people always make the summertime better (and the hot, long days go by a little quicker).  :)

If that's not enough, here are some other awesome reasons that I'm totally excited for August this year.

Coolinary New Orleans

Coolinary New Orleans is that special time of year when NOLA hosts discounted meals at some of the best restaurants in town!  Taking place August 1-31, you can grab 2-3 course lunch meals for $20 or less, or 3 course dinner meals for $39 or less.  And new this year, you can even enjoy 3 course brunch menus at $39 or less, as well! 

There are more than 50 fabulous NOLA restaurants taking part in Coolinary NO this year, so there's definitely something for everyone.  For more information, or to see if your favorite joint is participating, you can find the full list of restaurants here.  I will definitely be partaking in Coolinary New Orleans and enjoying some of the world famous food that makes NOLA unique!

Satchmo Summer Fest

Now, through August 2nd is Satchmo Summer Fest, a music festival that takes place every year in honor of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong! You can expect music ranging from traditional and modern jazz to brass bands and more, as well as seminars from some amazing musical scholars, all taking place at the Old US Mint. 

Keep an eye out for the sweet girl shown in the picture below, Robin Barnes!  She's an amazingly talented singer and entrepreneur, who'll be performing at 5:00 p.m. Sunday on the Red Beans and Ricely Yours stage!  Trust me when I say, you won't want to miss her!  This event takes place throughout this weeken and costs only $5 to get in.

Robin Barnes singing at Satchmo Fest 2013  | Photo Credit: Kim Welch

White Linen Night

The first Saturday of every August is dedicated to the arts here in NOLA.  Whitney White Linen night is an event that runs throughout the Arts District (the SoHo of the South)- specifically six blocks of Julia Street- to support the arts in our community.  And, in case you haven't caught on, everyone is decked out in white linen.  Why white linen?  Well, back in the day, people knew that wearing white kept them cooler in the heat than the darker colors because of it's reflective properties.  Thus, wearing breezy, white linen became a standard fashion item during the summertime.  White Linen Night is perfect for embracing the NOLA weather, and enjoying some tasty food, fabulous wine, and the amazing art our city has to offer!  This event takes place tonight (August 1st) this year and is free to the public.

White Linen Night | Photo Credit: CACNO

Dirty Linen Night

Not to be outdone by White Linen Night, Dirty Linen Night takes place the second Saturday of August and celebrates the arts and artists of Royal Street in the French Quarter (not to be confused with the Arts District).  The goal here is to wear you attire from White Linen Night, now that it's good and dirty, and really let loose!  In fact, according to the Dirty Linen Night theme, the funkier the better!  Dirty Linen Night is a great way to appreciate more of the amazing art in our community in a superrr laid back environment.  Shopkeepers have even been known to give away free dirty rice and dirty martinis this night as well!  This event takes place on August 8th this year and is free to the public. 

Dirty Linen Night | Photo Credit: Dirty Linen Night Facebook

Need a little help deciphering the difference between the NOLA linen nights?  Check out this awesome infographic from GONOLA.com!

I love this infographic! | Photo Credit: GoNOLA.com

Red Dress Run

Also taking place on August 8th is the NOLA Red Dress Run.  Much like it's name suggests, it is an event that requires you to don your (or your friend's) favorite red dress, lace up your running shoes, and enjoy copious amounts of beer!  And this is all while helping out a good cause, as numerous donations are made to local charities here each year during the run.  I had no idea, but Red Dress Runs are actually quite popular and are hosted by hashing groups- or "drinking groups with a running problem" as the NOH3 (New Orleans Hash House Harriers) proclaims.  Awesomely enough, the NOLA Red Dress Run is the largest of it's kind IN THE WORLD.  To participate in the NOLA Red Dress Run, you don't need to be a HHH member, but you must be 21+ and wear a red dress on race day to participate!  Head here for registration information. 

Red Dress Run NOLA 2012 | Photo Credit: Sue Strachan

Sushi Fest

Ah!  This fest is right up my alley and I cannot wait to attend!  This is the second year for New Orleans Sushi Fest and you can be sure it won't disappoint!  Celebrating the food and culture of Japan, Sushi Fest will feature sushi creations from NOLA's best chefs, sake selections, Japanese beer, craft displays, karoake with Cat's Meow Karoake Club, shopping at the Marketplace, and live music by Flow Tribe.  In addition, each chef will also be entered into the sushi competition, and one will be crowned the 2015 Grand Champion of the New Orleans Sushi Fest.  This event takes place on August 16th this year and cost $15 with advanced tickets, or $25 at the door.

Moonshine Fever

Okay, so I won't actually be here for this event, but it sounds too fun not to mention.  Moonshine Fever is a 21+ event at City Park that will have everything your 'kid-stuck-in-an-adult-body' heart could hope for!  Unlimited rides, unlimited beer, giveaways...you name it!  There will even be a mechanical bull there for you wild things out there looking for a little bit of risk!  The event will cost $30/person and takes place on August 21st, with a rain-date for August 22.

Photo Credit: City Park

Saints Pre-Season Games

I know that football lovers all over America are jonesing for the season to start.  If you're a Saints fan, you're in luck because the first at home preseason game is on August 22nd!  For more Saints info and to buy tickets, you can visit their website.  My SO and I are set on catching at least one Saints Game this year.  When in Rome, do as the WHO DAT's do!

As a NOLA newbie, I'm pretty excited about this list of events.  There is literally always something going on in this city, which makes me fall a little bit more in love with it each day. 

For you long time NOLA locals, am I missing any big events?  Be sure to let me know in the comments section.  I'm always looking for new adventures!

Until next time,

-The Newly NOLA Bride