The mission this year is two-fold for one of the largest food and wine festivals in Arkansas, Wild Wines for the Little Rock Zoo: Throw a party like no other and provide more conservation education to people in the Natural State.
The festival spans two days this year, May 5 and 6, to feature an enhanced Reserve Room as well as the Grand Tasting event, which will provide more than 200 hand-selected wines from the talented team at O’Looney’s Wine & Liquor as well as cuisine from 50 of the best restaurants in Central Arkansas.
The Reserve Room, held Friday, May 5, in Café Africa at the Little Rock Zoo, will include scrumptious food from The Capital Hotel, Cache, SO and YaYa’s Euro Bistro, with delicious desserts by Cocoa Belle and Cupcakes on Kavanaugh. The cuisine will be paired with fine wines from around the world, carefully curated by O’Looney’s owner and certified sommelier, Jonathan Looney.
The May 6 Grand Tasting will expand to War Memorial Stadium, with the concourse transformed into an amazing gallery of food and wine for guests to sample. Hiland Dairy will be back with their scrumptious freshly cooked steak and shrimp. Food trucks such as Loblolly will serve up one of a kind wine-inspired treats. Lost 40 Brewing and other breweries will be on deck for all the non-wine drinkers. Live entertainment will feature music from Rodney Block and the Real Music Lovers and Synergy.
The highlight of the evening will be the Animal Ambassadors, which help spread the Zoo’s message of conservation and wildlife protection. One of the Zoo’s birds will give a special flight demonstration on the AT&T field.
As always, proceeds for Wild Wines go to the Arkansas Zoological Foundation, which supports the growth and development of the Little Rock Zoo. In the past decade, it has helped make several visions come to vibrant life, including the Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost, Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe, and the Arkansas Heritage Farm, which opened its barn doors last year.
Over the years, the Little Rock Zoo has evolved from a park with exotic animals to a place where nature lives and learning is engaging. Each year tens of thousands people from all over the country visit to learn and be inspired by this living classroom.
This year, all proceeds from Wild Wines go toward revamping the Zoo’s Education Building to create new spaces for guests of all ages to explore. The vision is for a Conservation Learning Center with a Nature Nook for the youngest of visitors, a Citizen Science Center geared toward school-age children and an Arkansas Prairie Exhibit that will showcase diverse plants and wildlife.
Wild Wines guests get to enjoy a unique festival experience that is unmatched in its variety and quality, all while helping the Little Rock Zoo fulfill its mission to bring conservation education to more Arkansans. The event itself has gone green, with programs and invitations printed on recycled paper and the plates made of 100 percent recycled material. The souvenir wine glasses, included in the ticket price, can be used again and again.
Tickets to both Wild Wines events are available at Central Arkansas Tickets.