Giant glowing orbs floated over Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, drawing lovers of both food and culture to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for TACA Lexus Party on the Green.
Those illuminated balloons each bore the name of a chef and restaurant, more than 20 of Dallas' best who showed up with plate after plate of delicious food for the hundreds of hungry guests.
Chairs Ann Mahowald and Ann Whitley Wood and honorary chairs Mickey and Bill Lively ensured that the park was decked out in shades of crimson and scarlet (including pashminas that doubled as favors), dotted with white tents housing the tasting stations programmed by chef chair Barbara Bouman.
While sampling the signature dishes, attendees could also bid on decadent dining experiences in the silent auction. Also up for bid were two larger-than-life pieces of art that served as popular selfie stations: the fierce and colorful painting Chrysanthemum Quart by Hatziel Flores and an intricate, 3-D backdrop spun of yarn called To Cactus, with Love by Corey Godfrey.
In addition to wine and beer, guests could quench their thirst with cocktails and specialty creations from Roxor gin. Those wanting to continue the party at home tried their luck in the wine pull, the prizes from which were displayed in an impressive bottle wall.
DJ Lucy Wrubel spun upbeat tunes, with a jazzy interlude from the Don Ambrose Trio. Atop the reflecting pool, TACA 2018 grant recipient Dark Circles Contemporary Dance performed a sinuous excerpt from its most recent creation, Aladdin, which plays in the Wyly Studio Theatre October 11-14 as part of The Elevator Project.
A gathering of Adirondack chairs let guests — including Kim and Greg Hext, Deborah McMurray, Donna Wilhelm, Glen Davison, Christie Douglas, C.A Anderson, and Annette Watkins — lounge on the green and enjoy the evening.
All proceeds from the event benefit the North Texas arts and cultural community, allowing TACA to distribute grants to 41 deserving arts organizations. Since its establishment in 1967, TACA has awarded more than $28 million in grants to more than 150 emerging and established nonprofit arts organizations, large and small, throughout Dallas county.