Cabana Nights at City Park: Roberta Grove’s “La Vie de Ville” column, March 28, 2013

Advocate photo by ROBERTA GROVE -- Artist Randy Leo 'Frenchy' Frechette works on his interpretation of 'Lark in the Park' as he paints the scene on a starlit night under the oaks at City Park's Botanical Gardens.
Advocate photo by ROBERTA GROVE -- Artist Randy Leo 'Frenchy' Frechette works on his interpretation of 'Lark in the Park' as he paints the scene on a starlit night under the oaks at City Park's Botanical Gardens.

Friends of N.O. City Park  stage Cabana Nights

By Roberta Grove

Special to The Advocate

Under the canopy of the City Park’s majestic live oaks, patrons and supporters of New Orleans City Park partied into the night at the annual Lark in the Park fundraiser.

Cabana Nights was the theme this year, and the trio of event chairwomen — Jackie Palumbo, Helen Smith and Kimberly Zibilich — pulled out all the stops with an impressive display of more than 40 New Orleans eateries, creatively themed libations artfully displayed and a spectacular menu of exciting live auction packages, all beautifully choreographed and set to the music of two of the areas most notable bands.

First up was the Latin ensemble of Julio and Cesar who entertained guests during the patron party. As the sun set and the stars lit up a perfect spring night sky, the crescendo of the evening began to build when the band Bonerama took center stage.

“Tonight’s proceeds are earmarked for the new Splash Park, which is currently under design and slated to open to the public in May of 2014,” said Robert Becker, New Orleans City Park chief executive officer.

The Splash Park will be contained within Cabana Plaza. The project is out for bid, but much of the $5 million needed has already been secured. Revenue generated at the Cabana Nights fundraiser completes the projected budget for the project.

Lark in the Park is an annual event produced by the all-volunteer Friends of City Park.

The nonprofit entity also oversees several other signature fundraising events such as Friends Fest in July, Martini Madness in September and Ghosts in the Oaks in October.

At Friends Fest, the winning raffle ticket for a brand new 2013 Bryan Subaru Outback will be announced. Only 750 raffle tickets will be sold for $75 each.

For information, visit www.friendsofcitypark.com or call (504) 483-9376.

The Friends of City Park was established in 1979 to preserve and enhance City Park through volunteerism, awareness and public outreach. The nonprofit group is a catalyst for generating necessary revenue for capital improvements.

Friends supports and enhances the mission of City Park’s Improvement Association, its governing board of directors and the dedicated staff that maintain and operate the 1,300-acre park daily.

La Vie de Ville captures city life New Orleans style every Thursday in The Advocate New Orleans Community News Section. Email information on your upcoming event to robertagrove@hotmail.com.