Grand tasting gala returns

Rita LeBleu

Tickets go on sale for Rouge et Blanc Friday, August 6, at 9 a.m. at Tickets for the Oct. 30 event are $125 per person. Participants must be 21 years old to attend.

“This event has sold out very quickly for the past 14 years,” said Brook Hanemann, a spokesperson for Banners Series at McNeese State University. “Be poised and ready to pounce because this year fewer tickets will be sold, creating some extra urgency.”

Hanemann said selling fewer tickets means shorter lines. It’s all about making sure Banners patrons and ticket purchasers know how much they’re appreciated.

“It’s our way of honoring them, of giving back to them because when you come to Rouge, you are a true philanthropist,” Hanemann said.

Rouge et Blanc is more than Southwest Louisiana’s premier fine wine and gourmet food extravaganza, according to Hanemann.

“It’s more than a magnificent party,” she said. “It’s a party with a purpose.” “Rouge makes it possible to produce a cultural season of world-class theatre, music, dance, lecture and films, high-end entertainment.”

Banners patrons are not just cultural torchbearers for today; they are also cultural torch barriers for future generations. Certain Banners programs are offered free to underserved children and allow artists and lecturers to visit local schools. 

This year’s Grand Tasting gala returns in a new location on the beautiful and historic grounds of Oak Crossing on Nelson Road, where Rouge et Blanc will welcome patrons to masquerade and “Party with a Purpose!” 

“Think of it as Phantom of the Opera meets Carnival,” Hademan said. “Some will join the masquerade and participate, some won’t. The backdrop promises to be a combination of classy, intriguing and playful.”

In addition to ‘pour’ tents and distributor tents, participants will find beer distributors at this year’s event. 

Rouge et Blanc is presented by Banners at McNeese, an independent arts & humanities organization that operates under the McNeese Foundation. All proceeds benefit Banners’ year-round cultural and educational programming, which features a top-tier array of international artists and lecturers, as well as Banners’ Outreach programs, which bring quality presentations to local schools and community groups.

Rouge et Blanc is supported by the following sponsors and partners: IBERIA Bank, the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention & Visitors Bureau, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana, Phillips 66, Deep South Productions, Oak Crossing, Southern Glazer’s, Southwest Beverage, Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock Law Firm, Stream Wetland Services, AdSource Outdoor, American Press, Digikast, First Federal Bank of Louisiana, Killer Photography, and Knight Media Printing.

For more information, visit the organization’s website at  

””Rouge et BlancChad Moreno

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