The LSU Agricultural Center Botanic Gardens at Burden celebrates the local and the native, particularly when it comes to all things flora, said Michelle Fuller, public relations and event coordinator at the nonprofit organization.
On Friday, the center’s Cocktails in the Garden fundraiser will celebrate plants in spirit — literally — with craft cocktails made from liquors distilled in the region.
The event will give a nod to the state’s growing movie industry with this year’s theme — The Golden Age of Hollywood — which will be represented in decor, music and, hopefully, costuming.
Local bars have been invited to create cocktails with the theme in mind — “mostly Old Hollywood with a twist, and they’ve really been creative with it,” she said, and several restaurants, including Tsunami, P.F. Chang and the Virginia Culinary Institute, will provide food.
“The creation of bitters, tinctures and distillations has always been tied to botanics,” said Jeff Kuehny, director of the gardens. “So the fact that there’s a revival of craft cocktails right now fits perfectly.”
Fuller is defining Golden Age as 1930s and ’40s, and supporters are encouraged to glam it up, as well.
“We have a few staff members who have been working on their costumes, me included, so we’re excited,” Fuller said.
“The idea is to dress as your favorite golden-age star or character, or in old Hollywood costume, to add to the fun,” she said, though not everyone will be costumed.
“It’s certainly not required. Come dressed up, or come as you are, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
For the $40 ticket price, patrons will be able to sample the craft cocktails and vote on their favorites and sample dishes from the participating restaurants and dance to the music of Ned Fasullo and the Fabulous Big Band Orchestra, www.nedfasullo.com, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Fuller has a few more touches of fun and glamour planned for the evening, including an original wearable art sculpture designed by artist Joseph “JoJo” Jilbert, and a picture-taking station with cutouts of old Hollywood stars set up.
BMW will have several vehicles on hand for patrons to check out, Fuller said.
For those who prefer to beat the crowds, VIP tickets are available for $50, she said, and will allow early entry and reserved parking starting at 6:30 p.m., and additional music by Don Gross.
“You can avoid the Eventbrite fee by picking tickets up at the gardens, and ticket prices go up to $60 the day of the event, so get your tickets now,” Fuller said.
Examples of Jilbert’s work can be seen at: