Despite wintry breezes, there was no such thing as fluffing, tucking or shivering for the 250 animal conservation young professionals that migrated to the Houston Zoo Thursday night for a rosy rendezvous with one of its oldest exhibits. Because as they say, birds of a feather flock together.
One 1926 habitat received a $400,000 sprucing that resulted in a new haunt for more than 30 Chilean flamingos, which previously dwelled in the zoo's Duck Lake.
"Party in Pink" celebrated the opening of the Flamingo Lounge with a social that flaunted the exhibit's fresh amenities — like the 20,000-gallon pool, feeding area positioned near spectators to enhance observation, nesting island for love and expanded natural space for a beachy ambiance. By recycling many elements from the former environment, including Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez's tree installation, surely the long-legged creatures felt right at home.
Heating up the grounds were Latin tunes by DJ Little Martin, tacos by Chipotle Mexican Grill and one potent cocktail not suitable for the weakest of the Flock, the title given to this networking group, sponsored by Bank of America and Momentum Audi. The culprit of that drink was Justin Burrow of Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge, who shook up a concoction of vodka, grapefruit juice and ginger beer he calls a flamingo buck. Adding to the pretend tropical feel was Saint Arnold Brewing Co. with kegs of Summer Pils.
While some got their flamingo on at the Rawr Party face painting station hosted by Yelp, it was Kasi Kubiak's twinkling getup that had guests asking, who's that girl? More than 70 hours were dedicated to her flamboyant outfit, which she reused from participating in Austin's Carnaval Brasileiro a few years back.
Those interested in avian life were offered the opportunity to embark on a special tour. For $8 additional, "Everyone's Doing It" explored the mating habits of the macaw and king vulture. And they say romance is dead.
In the mix were Nicole Laurent Romano and Joey Romano, Michael Mandola, Adrienne Saxe and Andrew Borches, Claudia Solis, Denise Furlough, David Rassin, Carey Kirkpatrick, Patrick Curphey, Cynthia Conner, Will Moss, Kyle Kelly, Ashley Mills, Cara Merriman, Lauren Rankin, Rebecca Schmidt, Casey Clay, Chris Goins and Kendall and Chris Hanno.