White Linen Night in the Heights is a massive street fair in the historic part of The Heights neighborhood in Houston. WLN is patterned off a New Orleans festival hosted in the French Quarter every year when people wear their best whites to enjoy the summer and view local art.
P.S. We’ll definitely be out and about at #WLN. Follow us on Instagram to see where we are. We’ll be handing out #ItsNotHou koozies!!
Everything You Need to Know Before You Go to White Linen Night
Whether it’s your first or fifth time visiting White Linen Night in the Houston Heights, here are a few things you should keep in mind to have a great time.
- You must wear white. No matter how cute you think that red sundress is, and how much your boyfriend loves it on you. You must wear white. Linen if possible, but not required. Just trying to save you some serious embarrassment here. Also, this is Houston in August, so prepare to be hot and sweaty. Here’s some white linen finds on Amazon.
- It’s free! From window shopping to people watching, the free entertainment is bountiful with live music, art cars, fashion shows, local artisan vendors and more. However if you want to shop local vendors and give your credit card some exercise, there is plenty of opportunities to do so. The fun starts early (some places have deals starting at 1 pm!) and lots of local boutiques, antique shops, and artisan booths to check out. Look up some of the attending artists here.
- It’s crowded! Party *technically* starts at 6pm. But, people will definitely be there earlier. By 7pm you won’t be able to move down 19th Street. If you want to do some shopping and still have room to breathe, I recommend going early as possible to 19th Street (4pm?). Once the crowds tire you, switch over to White Oak where there’s a big street party stretching from Christian’s Tailgate to Onion Creek with bands and DJ and a bit more room.
- Enjoy a beverage or two. This easier than you think. All of the bars have something cool happening like live music, drink specials, beer tastings, food trucks and more! Looking at you Woodrow’s, Cedar Creek, BB’s, and more. Some people even pull coolers around full of beer and just drink on the street. Many boutiques also have cocktails on hand while you shop. Again, if you want a drink and/or AC GO EARLY. Because the later you go the more crowded it’s going to be.
- Parking. You can park in the neighborhoods nearby–be sure to read the signs in case of towing! Or make things super easy and just cab there (see #4). Anticipate lots of traffic though and closed streets. If headed to White Oak, get dropped off at the Gelazzi. If headed to 19th Street, get dropped off at Down House. Honestly, just Uber or Lyft. Check for promo codes to get some $$ off.
Quick Facts about White Linen Night:
- Where: 19th Street (shopping), White Oak (drinking), Heights Mercantile (art) in The Heights
- When: First Saturday of August
- Wear: All of the White
Breaking Down the WLN areas
White Linen Night officially started on 19th street but has since spread to other parts of the Heights. Now, you have your three core areas with their own specialties.
- 19th Street: The OG. Party is from 6 to 10. It will be its most packed from 7 to 9. The street party is usually hard to move through. People bring coolers of beer and congregate in the street. Bring your patience and maybe some of your own beer.
- Heights Mercantile: I call this the mini WLN. It’s from 4 to 8 pm and has a similar vibe — music, art, shopping — but will probably be way less crowded. This is a good option if you want to do the WLN thing without enduring the massive crowds.
- White Oak: White Oak has a lot of great bars and restaurants — Onion Creek, Tacos A Go Go, Christian’s Tailgate — and that makes for the perfect after party. Onion Creek takes over their parking lot for a stage and live music.
Don’t miss these spots in the Heights:
- Emerson Rose Heights – Local boutique that always throws a fun themed party! Go early to take advantage of deals.
- Man Ready Mercantile – Pics in front of the giant American flag are a MUST!
- Harold’s in the Heights – We’re obsessed with the “I Love You Wall”
Where to Find White Linen Night Outfit
Need a last minute White Linen Night outfit? Many shops in Houston will be putting all of their white linen on display for the occasion. Here are some our favorite places to shop in Houston:
- Saint Bernard’s in River Oaks District. It’s not the Heights, BUT they’re a Texas-owned business with a GREAT selection of ACTUAL white linen–for men, women, and children, as well as everything you need for travel and squeezing in that last minute trip. I’m wearing the low-rise short from J Brand and the white linen Dany top from Joie below!
- Emerson Rose is possibly my most favorite boutique in Houston. Check out their Heights and Montrose locations to support a local business. Did you catch our White Linen Night in the Heights segment on Great Day Houston? We wore some Emerson Rose outfits! Check out the video here!
- Jubilee is an eclectic Houston Heights boutique on 19th Street that’s always fun to shop in with lots of white linen finds.
- Last minute shopper? Check out Amazon for some easy white linen outfits.
Photos by @kev.dai