This past Saturday, August 10, 2013, the oven that is known as summer in New Orleans did not deter almost 6,000 people from running (or walking) to help support many NOLA charities.
And running in red dresses, no less...
Organized by the New Orleans Hash House Harriers, "a drinking club with a running problem," the New Orleans Red Dress Run is the largest of many Red Dress Runs around the world, and raises money for several local New Orleans charities and organizations. Last year alone, more than 50 charities benefited from running, drinking, and red dress regalia, and more than $500,000 was raised in the last three years.
The festivities kicked off on Saturday around 9 A.M. in Armstrong Park and yours truly was one of this year's runners (actually, I was one of the walkers - August in New Orleans is just too hot to run anywhere). There was endless free beer and other drinks provided for the runners, and simply walking around and looking at everyone's dresses and costumes was worth the entrance fee alone. The race began about 11 A.M. snaking through the French Quarter where red dresses were hung over the streets and some residents even tossed beads out for the runners, and then over to Esplanade and back into Armstrong Park where lunch was served for the participants.
Dash Rip Rock and Cowboy Mouth provided live entertainment that did not disappoint, and a sudden rain shower graced the sea of red dresses after the race. NOLA Red Dress Runners danced gleefully in the rain until the sun reappeared - the day could not have been more "New Orleans" in attitude and vibe.
It doesn't get much better than having the time of your life while helping others. I, for one, will be back again next year!