The New Orleans Arts District Association cancels the Julia Street block party portion of White Linen Night scheduled on Saturday, Aug. 7, a spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
The cancellation comes at the urging of city officials and in light of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, according to a release.
According to Leslie-Claire Spillman, president of the New Orleans Arts District Association, streets will no longer be blocked off in the Warehouse District, and local vendors will also not be on the street. However, participating galleries will still remain open.
The CAC’s parallel after-party event White Linen Night, After Dark is also postponed. They will also proceed with the regular First Saturday gallery opening from 6-9 pm.
Spillman said people will still be allowed to stroll through galleries, but masks will be required.
“While we hoped to present this summer event that so many look forward to, the safety of our galleries and their staff, the vendors for the event, and the people of New Orleans is of paramount importance. After receiving word from the mayor’s office, we have decided to postpone our block party until it is safer to hold such an event. We look forward to being able to present programming of this nature again soon,” Spillman said in a statement.
The Arts District New Orleans said it made this decision after guidance from the Mayor’s Office. Organizers said they will “continue to monitor the case numbers” and hope to reschedule the White Linen Night event for some time in October.
City of New Orleans director of communications Beau Tidwell said the following in a statement:
“We believe it they made the right call. The City expects the organizers of both events — White Linen Night and the Red Dress Run — to do everything they can to keep people safe, to mask up and to follow the guidelines in place. We are in a dangerous moment, and what happens next depends on what we do right now. The big events in October are potentially at risk. We need people to be responsible and to be safe, and for event organizers to think hard about how their actions could impact future events.”
Last year, due to COVID-19, White Linen Night transitioned to a month-long, hybrid event, called White Linen Light. Organizers encouraged art enthusiasts and collectors to enjoy art through digital auctions and safely visiting galleries at their leisure during August.
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