The month of July is full of celebrations, which include Essence Festival, Go Fourth, Bastille Day, Tales of the Cocktail and Christmas in July—all aimed at keeping us cool and very spirited. Enjoy July.
The super Essence Festival, celebrating African-American music and culture, will take place over July Fourth weekend. This is the place to be on Saturday, July 5, when diva Patti LaBelle will be honored in an all-star tribute, which will include two of the original members of LaBelle, as well as singers Angie Stone, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Ruby Amanfu and our own Irma Thomas. Headliners include Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Morris Day and the Time, Kanye West, LL Cool J, and Jill Scott. For a complete schedule, visit www.essence.com.
GO FOURTH ON THE RIVER
The biggest July 4th celebration in town happens on the banks of the Mississippi with the annual Go Fourth on the River extravaganza. Dueling Barges is an exciting and explosive fireworks show set to the tune of patriotic music. Spend the day exploring the French Quarter before settling down for the show, which usually starts around 9 p.m. Steamboats offer “fireworks cruises” for the evening, so you can get up close and personal with the amazing show.
BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATION
Join the annual celebration of Bastille Day and French culture. Come support local bakers from Binder’s, Leidenheimer’s and Gendusa’s bakeries and learn how New Orleans’ French bread is made, as well as the important role this diet staple plays in our city’s history. Favorite local musician Philip Melancon and his friends will perform live. The Crescent City Farmers Market is open at 700 Magazine St. from 8 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. For more information, visit crescentcityfarmersmarket.org or call 861-5898.
BASTILLE CELEBRATION OH LA LA!
The local merchants of Esplanade Avenue and Ponce de Leon Street (3100 block of Esplanade Ave.) will host a Bastille Day Fete on Saturday, July 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy live music from Vavavoom and the String Beans, play the French game pétanque at Fortier Park and participate in the many children’s activities. The free event will also feature food and drink.
TASTE OF THE NATION JAZZ BRUNCH
Presented by American Express, this year’s event, at Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House Restaurant, will feature wonderful music, amazing chefs, a live and silent auction and the presentation of the Fleurde- Lis Award to Leah Chase in honor of her many contributions to New Orleans hospitality. One hundred percent of the ticket price goes to fight childhood hunger and local beneficiaries include Second Harvest, marketumbrella.org and Bread for the World. For tickets or more information, go to www.tasteofthenation.org.
TALES OF THE COCKTAIL
Celebrate the spirit and spirits of New Orleans with Tales of the Cocktail. This lively event, held at various locations around town, explores the history and contemporary life of the cocktail. The five-day event includes spirited dinners, films, seminars, cocktail hour, cocktail luncheons, walking tours of the French Quarter and historical presentations—all presented by the country’s hottest chefs, authors, bartenders and cocktail experts. For more information, visit www.TalesoftheCocktail.com.
ROYAL STREET STRUT
We strut, we shop and we cocktail, darling! Enjoy a decadent afternoon stroll down world famous Royal Street shopping, cocktailing, and exploring fabulous antiques, original art and more! Specialty cocktails await in each participating venue along beautiful Rue Royal. Presented by New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, this festive evening begins on the 200 block of Rue Royal. Cost is $45 per person.
BRIDGE HOUSE MR. LEGS VIII CONTEST
Don’t miss this hilarious parody of a beauty pageant featuring men only! Held at Generations Hall, this highly anticipated annual event has men strutting their stuff in shorts and costumes as they compete in contests, including Hairiest Legs, Skinniest Legs, Sexiest Legs, Best Costume and Best Performance. This Bridge House fund-raiser also features food, open bar, silent auction and a raffle. Call Wayne Olivio at 522-2124 for tickets and info.
Casa Argentina celebrates the 292nd anniversary of Argentina’s independence with a Gala Tango Night at the Sheraton Hotel. It promises to be a memorable night with some of the world’s best tango dancers and a renowned tango ensemble, a spectacular evening for a worthy case. In addition to the delectable dinner and show, there will be dancing to the Latin rhythms of Julio and Cesar and a silent auction. For reservations, call Dr. Gershanik at 892-2229.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
Girlfriend Getaway is the theme for the annual Christmas in July fund-raiser for the French Quarter Business Women’s Network. The soiree takes place at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, 1104 Decatur St., from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The $35 per person admission includes Spa Treatment by Ofadean, shopping, silent auction, brunch and cocktails by Glazer’s Companies of Louisiana. Call 598- 1700 for info and reservations.
MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN COCKTAIL
Come celebrate the return of the Museum of the American Cocktail at its new location, housed with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum at the Riverwalk Mall. Museum curator Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh has designed an extraordinary exhibit spotlighting 200 years of cocktail history that includes vintage cocktail shakers, Prohibition-era literature, music and exciting cocktail memorabilia from the collections of the museum’s founders.
ROCK THE BLOCK
Clearview South presents Rock the Block, a three-day block party featuring live music, a super waterslide, food, drinks, dunking booth and more. On Saturday check out the car show and on Sunday a bike show. Sponsored by The Beach House, CBeevers, The Max, DBD Lounge, Pair of Dice and Joe’s Caddy Corner, the fun-filled weekend benefits Camp Challenge, a grass-roots non-profit organization dedicated to giving ill children a summer camp experience. Held in the 2500 block of Woodlawn, off the Clearview South exit.
SIPPIN’ IN STILETTOS
Don’t miss the ultimate girl’s night out as Belli Baci Lounge, located in Cafe Giovanni (117 Decatur St.), hosts Sippin’ in Stilettos from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy $5 Stiletto Vodka designer cocktails, male models presenting the best of Saks Fifth Avenue’s Designer Shoe Salon, fabulous food by chef Duke LoCicero, celebrity bartenders and register to win great prizes. Due to the overwhelming success of the kick off event, July’s event will take over the entire lounge and restaurant and will feature more models, more shoes and valet parking! For info all, 529-2154.
July 31–Aug. 3
SEVENTH ANNUAL SATCHMO SUMMERFEST
Celebrate the life of our beloved son Louis Armstrong at the Seventh Annual Satchmo SummerFest with a fun-filled weekend of activities and music on three stages, all located within the historic Old U.S. Mint. This musical tribute will feature a Traditional Jazz Stage, a Contemporary Jazz Stage, and a Brass Band Stage, plus a Children’s Stage located in Dutch Alley, as well as seminars hosted by nationally renowned speakers. For more information, visit www.satchmosummerfest.com.
WHITE LINEN NIGHT
On Saturday, Aug. 2, join art-loving locals, as they explore the hippest art scene in New Orleans and its stunning galleries at the 11th Annual Whitney White Linen Night, presented by the Contemporary Art Center. More than 16,000 white-linen-clad art aficionados will visit the fabulous galleries on Julia Street and the Warehouse Arts District, sipping wine and listening to music from some of New Orleans’ most exciting bands. Galleries will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the galleries is free, and a cash bar with Stiletto Vodka martinis and food will be available.