If you’ve ever been walking or driving in New Orleans on a Saturday near the end of summer, you may have spotted an odd sight: a group of men and women all dolled up in red dresses, strutting their stuff down a French Quarter street like Rampart or Bourbon. You may have shrugged it off as one of those “only-in-New Orleans-type things,” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But then you see another gaggle of red dresses on men and women alike. And then another. And soon you realize that something must be going on today or the city’s denizens are losing their minds.
It is something going on—it’s the Red Dress Run.
Held this year on August 10th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Red Dress Run is “the biggest little Red Dress event in the world.” The premise is simple: don yourself with your best red dress—man or woman—and join the throng of other red dressers in the French Quarter. If you want to actually participate in the race aspect of the event, register ahead of time, and enjoy even more Red Dress Run fun as you attend the after-party in Armstrong Park on N. Rampart, complete with food and music from Cowboy Mouth and Dash Rip Rock. But many people do not register for the race, and they are the ones you will see cramming the streets after the actual race is over for the rest of the day.
In terms of what you’ll see—as either a participant or an innocent bystander—men and women of all ages will be wearing every fashion of red dress you can imagine. From halter tops and one-shoulder dresses to full length ball gowns and strapless cocktail dresses, everyone will dress to impress at this unique event. You’ll never see so much chest hair and tattoos coming out of red dresses anywhere else in your life.
The best part of the event is that it supports a wealth of charities in the area. Registration for the race goes straight to local charities. Last year, more than 50 groups received Red Dress donations, and over the last three years, the race has donated more than $500,000.
Registration for the event is $67.45 through August 5th for standard participants or $88.05 for hashers through August 7th. Hashers are part of a special noncompetitive running group and social club who meet up regularly for hashes or hash runs and call themselves either hashers or hares and hounds.