City Social Magazine

JUL-AUG 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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42 r e A d u s o n l i n e A t w w w . C i t y s o C i A l . C o m By Elizabeth McInnis Photos provided by Zapp's Potato Chips The 13th Annual Zapp's International Beerfest took place on April's Fool's Day 2017; that day, it saw one of the largest crowds in its history. Held annually, the Beerfest has become a major fundraiser for the LSU Rural Life Museum to help the museum with educational programs and maintenance of the outdoor buildings within the museum's complex. Not only is this event supported by Zapp's Potato Chips, but also by LSU, LSU Rural Life Museum Docent Program and many community volunteers. This year, food vendors also volunteered their time, as well as donated food products. Special thanks to Tio Javi's Fresh Mex Bar & Grill, TJ Ribs, Twin Peaks, Hooters, The Pelican House and Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar. The festival began 13 years ago was when local chip-maker Ron Zappe approached the director of the LSU Rural Life Museum, David Floyd, with the desire to support the museum any way that he could. Zappe and the Zapp's team, along with the Rural Life team, eventually landed on the idea to host a beer festival to help draw in a younger crowd. In the early days the thought was to attain an Octoberfest- like atmosphere; the first Beerfest took place in October 2004 with 500 attendees, a few beers and some jambalaya. Then, Hurricane Katrina happened the following summer. After many struggles over whether or not to continue with the event, the second Beerfest was held on April Fools' Day 2006 and has since grown to around 2,500 attendees or "Funseekers" as Mr. Ron likes to call the participants, as well as over 200 foreign and domestic beers and ales, 100 homebrews and a committee of 15 volunteers. A bit about Mr. Ron—he graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in industrial engineering. After the 1980s oil bust, he moved from Houston to Louisiana and started a potato chip business. In 1985, he bought a building once used as an automobile dealership in Gramercy, Louisiana and converted it into a potato "chippery". After arriving in Baton Rouge, he heard of a gentleman named Steele Burden and wanted to meet him. As it turns out, this was on Mr. Ron's "Top 10" list of things to do in life. He reached out to Director David Floyd to arrange the meeting. Since that meeting, he has held the LSU Rural Life Museum close to his heart. As Mother's Day weekend approached, excitement about the annual BRSO/LSU Rural Life Museum Pops Concert grew to a boiling point with the anticipation of this year's concert, "Classic Soul". Our Baton Rouge audience gave a warm, Louisiana welcome to guest artists Capathia Jenkins and Darius de Haas, who traveled to us from New York City. Singing songs by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Barry White and many more, these two Broadway stars absolutely dazzled the audience with their energetic renderings. This music series is now a family tradition in Baton Rouge because of a terrific partnership between two entities that are considered Baton Rouge treasures; the location and charm of the LSU Rural Life Museum and the talent and artistry of the Baton Rouge Symphony, which are both second to none. The series regularly draws crowds numbering in the thousands, arriving with lawn chairs and blankets in tow, to see a concert under the stars. Many people also gathered with friends and family to sit at VIP tables whereupon they continued the tradition of decorating in line with the theme of the concert. With that in mind, it's not too early to begin thinking about next year's wonderful event and what theme it may have! So, let the anticipation begin growing as we count down the days until 2018 with LSU's Rural Life Music Series! Classic s oul Comes to r ural l ife 13th Annual Zapp's i nternational Beerfest l ifts s pirits By David Torns, Associate Conductor Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Photos by Daryin Marshall

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