Lily Milwit | Senior Staff Photographer
Fish served as both the entree and the entertainment at this year’s Scales & Ales event last Friday. With more than 40 local restaurants, nine specialty bars and more than a dozen aquatic exhibits, this annual fundraiser was not a typical trip to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.
Scales & Ales marked the start of National Seafood Month, with proceeds from the event going to programs like Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries, which works to support local fisheries and sustainable wildlife.
For $75 a ticket, attendees could support GULF and peruse the many food, drink and fish options inside the aquarium and outside along the Mississippi River.
The local restaurant vendors set up in tents along the river. Highlights from the culinary options at the event include GW Fins’ firecracker tuna tacos, Cavan’s salmon poke tacos and Royal House Oyster Bar’s fried oyster chopped salad.
For dessert, Ted’s Frostop was in attendance with its famous root beer floats. Across the lawn, attendees could try po-boy ice cream sandwiches from New Orleans Ice Cream Co. or grab a snoball from Plum Street Snoballs.
Tiki Tolteca offered hand-made hurricanes, The Naked Turtle Rum mixed up watermelon rumritas and Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar handed out frozen French 75s to thirsty party-goers. Inside, beer and wine bars had Abita beer selections, red wine and white wine for attendees to sip as they made their way through the aquarium.
Most aquarium exhibitions were open during the event, and Scales & Ales ticket-holders were able to check out sharks, seahorses, penguins, stingrays and, of course, a wide variety of fish. The sea otters, unfortunately, had to stick to a strict bedtime and were not in attendance for the Friday night fundraiser.
Aside from the fish, The Molly Ringwalds and DJ Brice Nice provided entertainment to guests inside and outside the aquarium. Performing outside, The Molly Ringwalds performed 80s hits with a fresh twist, while DJ Brice Nice spun contemporary party tunes in the aquarium’s main entrance area.
With plenty of fun, fish and successful fundraising, this year’s eighth annual Scales & Ales event certainly made a splash.