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8th Annual White Linen Night in the Heights draws thousands

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On Saturday, August 2, visitors dressed in their finest white linen flocked to 19th Street in the Heights, the heart of the growing community of art galleries, trendy restaurants, and boutiques. The street was blocked to traffic from Ashland Street to Yale Street, forming a pedestrian walkway including the new “parklet” in front of New Living Bedroom furniture. The street was lined with artist booths, food trucks, and information tables for political candidates, businesses, and live street performers every 100 yards or so.

While many of the vendors owned brick-and-mortar stores on 19th Street or nearby, others like artist Diane Fifer of Art Dwellers in Friendwood were there for the first time, networking with local artists and potential customers for her own future events. A vacant lot in the middle of the block was an ideal off-street venue for several vendors and a staging point for The Humbuckers band, who performed their bluegrass and country style music including classic hits like Heartbreak Hotel. According to lead singer Joanna Jetton, they played last year in 100-degree weather, compared with yesterday's relatively comfortable 89 degrees. While they played, a wall artist continued a work in progress. Meanwhile, Martha White's band performed Louisiana-style songs on 19th. while further toward Yale Street, visitors could sample free Kettle Corn, learn of Yelp.com, and hear more musicians, and taste local beverages of Saint Arnold Brewery.

White Linen Night was adopted from a tradition in the French Quarter of New Orleans at the suggestion of Chris and Kay Thayer, a couple who moved to Houston in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina. It has grown from a neighborhood block party to a popular Greater Houston art and cultural event.

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