HRAC to host cocktail party with performers

The Hammond Regional Arts Center is hosting their first annual cocktail tasting party as a fundraiser on Feb. 10 called Art of the Cocktail. At opening receptions like the one above, board members served alcohol to patrons.  
File Photo/The Lion's Roar 

The Hammond Regional Arts Center is hosting a fundraising event where attendees will vote which Hammond restaurant has the best cocktail.

Art of the Cocktail is an inaugural fundraising event to benefit the Hammond Regional Arts Center and our mission is to support, promote and coordinate visual, performing and literary arts in Tangipahoa Parish and the surrounding parishes,” said Executive Director of HRAC Katherine Marquette. “It’s basically a cocktail competition. We’re calling it a mixologist face-off, where our different participants, all wonderful, wonderful downtown bars and restaurants, are competing for who makes the best cocktail in Hammond and bragging rights for a year.”

The event will be held Friday, Feb. 10 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at HRAC.




This event was chosen because it is unlike any other fundraising events in Hammond.

“It’s really hard, in terms of nonprofit fundraisers, to do something different and break out of the mold and also not step on toes of other nonprofits that might have a similar fundraiser,” said Marquette. “So, we really wanted to offer something that hasn’t been done in Hammond before and would be really unique and really different. It’s the only event of its kind in Hammond.”

Participating businesses are Blackened Brew, Cate Street Pub, Cate Street Seafood Station, Crescent Bar, La Carreta Hammond, The Mariner’s Inn, The Red White and Brew, Tommy’s on Thomas, Tope La, Your Mom’s Restaurant & Bar and Benny’s Place.

“We have 11 different bars and restaurants that are local here in downtown Hammond that’ll be shaking up their own signature cocktails,” said Marquette. “Each has their own unique signature cocktail that they’ll be mixing up for patrons who will have a sample size of each drink and then be able to vote. Upon entry, attendees will be given three doubloons.  They can cast up to three different votes for different cocktails or they can put all their doubloons in one box if it’s their absolute favorite.”

The entertainment for the night is highly anticipated.

“We do have some really, really awesome entertainment for the evening,” said Marquette. “We have an aerialist. Jamie Ray is going to be doing her aerial acrobatics. Then, we also have a fantastic, fabulous emcee for the night. That will be Miss Kookie Baker, who is a drag queen.”

HRAC plans to make Art of the Cocktail an annual event.

“This is the first time we’ve done this event, but we’re hoping it becomes an annual event,” said Marquette. “It really just depends on the level of support that we see from the community. The spirited entertainment alone is worth the ticket price, not to mention the 11 cocktails you get to sample. We have ensured that it will be a fantastic event. Hopefully, one that everyone is talking about the next day. It’s the party you don’t want to miss in Hammond this year.”

Tickets must be ordered by Feb. 8.

 “They can go online anytime to buy their tickets until February 8, or if they want to buy their tickets with check or cash, they can stop by the arts center anytime during our regular business hours, which are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.,” said Marquette.

HRAC also wishes to support other local businesses through this event.

“It’s very, very important to us that we be good neighbors, in terms of merchants and bars that supported us in helping us have this event, so at 9:30 whenever we close the doors, we want everybody who came to the event to go to your favorite bar or restaurant that had your favorite cocktail of the night,” said Marquette. “Go and patron that business.”