Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Red Dress Run

I’m still wondering why Tom isn’t participating in this?  It just seems so up his alley.

Anyone in New Orleans going to participate?

New Orleans 'Red Dress Run' a beer-fueled charity event

reddressSorry, Founding Fathers: The "pursuit of happiness" means something different in New Orleans, and the Hash House Harriers are determined to keep it that way.

THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Tess Falcon of Baton Rouge dances before the Red Dress Run at Washington Square Park in New Orleans on Saturday, August 14, 2010. The New Orleans Hash House Harriers held their annual run/walk/crawl through the streets of the French Quarter to benefit local charities. All participants must be at least 21 and wear a red dress. Red Dress Run 2010 gallery (6 photos)

The Harriers, who style themselves as a "drinking club with a running problem, " have recruited thousands of guest runners, walkers and layabouts to wiggle into crimson gowns and make their way from bar to bar in the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny on Saturday.

Now in its 17th year, the New Orleans Red Dress Run has soared in popularity since its debut, growing from an initial field of about a dozen to a sprawling romp that draws participants from as far away as Chicago. About 7,500 men and women registered for the 2010 event, raising close to $200,000 for charity. Proceeds were divided among 50 local nonprofit organizations.

"We like to drink beer, sing bawdy songs -- and do good in the process" said Bill Healy, one of 16 local "hashers" who organize the benefit and help to arrange the smaller, weekly runs that the group stages for members only.

The idea for a red dress run originated elsewhere -- some say San Diego -- and has spread to many Harrier clubs around the world. But the New Orleans run dwarfs the frocked footraces in other towns.

"This is a natural event for New Orleans, because we like to party, but that's not the only explanation for the success of our run, " Healy said. "New Orleans men are simply less terrified of appearing publicly in a dress. We have costuming in our blood. Almost everyone I know has closets packed with years of Mardi Gras stuff."

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