The yearly Red Dress Run is organized by the Hash House Harriers, a self-dubbed “New Orleans drinking club with a running problem.” It’s a charity event. It’s also a good excuse to have a couple cold ones while everyone else is still on their morning coffee.
As the clock nears 11, runners, joggers, walkers, and crawlers take their mark and steady their cups. A fog horn wails. And they’re off, with varying degrees of speed.
“Can I get a whoop whoop?” someone hollers. A resounding “WHOOP! WHOOP!” returns.
They snake their way through two miles of the French Quarter, the roads a river of moving crimson. Men and women sweat and spill on sequins and tulle, ruffles and lace. Arches of red balloons denote the path to the finish line.
Some won’t make it that far.
The siren song of Bourbon Street, for many, cannot be denied. Defectors start to pour in and out of bars, mob balconies. Eventually the crowd gets so dense Bourbon Street turns solid red. There’s dancing, drinking, music in the air.
It’s barely noon.