Tales of the Cocktail gives back to local schools

Tales of the Cocktail gives back to local schools

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thousands of people are wrapping up four days of festivities in celebration of the cocktail.

'Tales of the Cocktail' brought in food and beverage experts from all over the country, to learn the latest about the industry, but also,to give back.

"Charity, how can you not believe in charity?" said Phil Braden of Houston.

Of the dozens of events held in New Orleans the past four days, the one at Washington Square Sunday, called 'Pigs and Punch', raised money and volunteers for KIPP schools.

"That first year we raised 1600 dollars, and now eight years later the total is a little but over 336-thousand raised," said organizer Josh Harris.

There was music by the band 'Most Wanted' and plenty of cocktails, and great food.

"I am cooking Mai Thai kabobs," said Shavell Provost.

For Provost this is a  labor of love, over a hot grill, on a hot day. She works at KIPP Renaissance High, which is a beneficiary of money raised at this event.

"We're an A school and they deserve it, I'm not going anywhere til I see that job finished," said Provost.

But the school also benefits from dozens of bartenders, managers, and vendors who come in from all over to help out at the school.

"Last year we had over 200 volunteers who came here a day early, to stay a day longer to paint and lift heavy things, and do whatever they need at a school," said Harris.

Most of the 'Tales of the Cocktail' events took place in the French Quarter, where gin company's this afternoon, got visitors ready for their return home, with refreshing libations.

"New Orleans has been hospitable, and a great host to all of us," said vendor Mark Stoddard.

And at Washington Park...they partied...and at the same time gave back.

The food and drink were free, but patrons were encouraged to buy a t-shirt, to support KIPP schools.

"It's the last day of tales, and it's an unbelievable trip and it's a celebration for everybody in New Orleans," said Braden.

A celebration is expected to return again next year.

This year, nearly 20,000 people participated in 'Tales of the Cocktail'.  It was the 15th year of the event.

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