Courtesy of The National Aviary.

The National Aviary

July 11
7 – 11 p.m.

You don’t have to head to Colombia or the Congo to experience the natural wonders of the tropics. For one steamy and spicy night in July—when the mercury is sure to rise in our own region—the National Aviary invites bird lovers of all ilks to gather for its Night in the Tropics Feathered Fiesta gala.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.
Courtesy of the National Aviary.

The National Aviary’s signature annual fundraiser, Night in the Tropics is expected to draw some 1,200 avid avian fans to the Northside for a summer evening of flavor, festivities and flight. The Latin-tinged fiesta will feature programming throughout the Aviary and its scenic rose garden, including live entertainment, an open bar and fresh fare from 30 of Pittsburgh’s top eateries, bakeries and breweries.

Dance to live music by Noël Quintana and The Latin Crew and DJ Loyal, enjoy dancing demos led by Salsa412 and be serenaded by uplifting sounds of a roaming mariachi band. Attendees will get to meet new feathered friends during up-close interactions with stunning birds not regularly on exhibit at the Aviary. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to meet the event’s “co-chair,” Happy the African Penguin.

Tropics guests can also vote on the Aviary’s 2015 restaurant taste awards, which will feature guest judges Betsy Benson (Pittsburgh Magazine), Brian McCollum (Pittsburgh Restaurant Week) and Julia Gongaware (EatPGH).

Courtesy of the National Aviary.
Courtesy of the National Aviary.

VIP ticketholders will be treated to an exclusive pre-party starting at 6 p.m. that includes a full bar and exclusive light bites.

You’ll be partying with a purpose too, because all proceeds from a Night in the Tropics support the National Aviary’s education, avian medicine and conservation programs both locally and internationally. In 2014 the benefit bash raised an impressive $190,000. Funds raised this year will support care, vaccinations and food for 500-plus birds, educational and outreach programs that serve 20,000 children annually, national and international breeding programs that help re-populate endangered species, research, hands-on training for veterinary hospital interns and more.

Purchase tickets.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.