Get ready for Blend of the Bayou . . . the premier springtime event and fundraiser for the arts.
Traditionally held late in the afternoon on the first Sunday in May, the wildly popular event centers around a wide array of delicious food and beverages prepared and served by 50 prominent area professionals and businessmen who generously volunteer their time and talents for the cause. The Men Who Cook either underwrite the preparation costs of their specialties or secure funding from one of their contacts in the business community. The results of their labors are served from whimsically decorated tasting tables in a pastoral bayou-side setting on Island Drive. Adding the finishing touches to a perfect afternoon is a local band to provide upbeat live music for the event and the Men Who Mix, sponsored by BancorpSouth, whose officers and other celebrity bartenders provide guests with their favorite libation.
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Among those who have cooked every year since 1997 are attorney Brian Crawford and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Doug Brown. Crawford, who usually serves a spicy Cajun seafood dish, recalls, "The event has really grown over the years it's like a festival now. It's a great opportunity to share an activity with old friends and meet new ones." Dr. Brown concurs, "Blend is the premier springtime event in Monroe. I've been lucky enough to a participant every year."
Proceeds from the event's ticket sales are used to help underwrite Arts Council projects, including touring age-appropriate, participative professional musical, theatrical, and visual activities to area schools, which often would not otherwise have access to such programming. These activities are structured so that teachers can enliven core curricula, while students enjoy, and sometimes even join in, entertaining, creative activities and presentations.
And you'll have an opportunity to acquire original artwork by some of our leading visual artists, so bring your checkbook and support your favorite artist! Works by 20 of the area's most prominent professional artists will be on display for a silent auction during the event. A relatively new feature, the Bayou Gallery proved to be so popular with the artists and art lovers that we're making it a permanent feature of an already fun afternoon.
Good food, good drinks, good music, good friends and now GREAT art . . . they all come together at Blend of the Bayou! And, of course, you'll see Dr. Armstrong there again this year.
"This event is great! Both the food and the socializing are excellent. Once you've been to one, you'll put Blend on your don't-miss list every year."