The team behind the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens continues to audaciously expand the parameters beyond what a conventional zoo is. This is confirmed with not only popular exhibits, such as “Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the L.A. Zoo,” but with the ever-growing reasons for making the drive to the Griffith Park area.
Nowadays, the L.A. Zoo is prepared to welcome people to its property throughout the four seasons of the year, and at various times of the day/night. For instance, in the frosty midst of winter, individuals can and should visit the resplendently joyful “L.A. Zoo Lights” installation. And, currently, in the sweltering summer heat, there is a something-for-everyone “Roaring Nights” summer music series that celebrates nearly every genre of music.
July 29th was one of those nights when couples and singles alike, adorned in their cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and formfitting jeans strode, line-danced, and side-stepped inside the zoo during a country music-themed version of “Roaring Nights.”
On hand were three country bands, which played to pockets of audiences at locations equally spaced out from one another. For example, in an area nearest to the zoo entrance, the group Grant Langston and the Supermodels played country hits with a down-to-earth flair which earned the appreciation of onlookers. Roughly in the middle of the walk path, the Rocky Neck Bluegrass band offered the most unique sound of the evening, wowing the dancing and smiling couples it presided over with the harmonious togetherness of the mandolin, guitar, and fiddle. The most energetic and country-rocking place to be, however, was at the end of the grounds where popular cover band Highway Starr – along with line-dancing expert Kerry Kick – led a few thousand to wave their arms in the air, turn 360 degrees, and align their bodies to the person closest to them in a synchronous and festive homage to country splendor.
Of course, a summer soirée characterized by step-touching, spinning, and singing along would not have been complete without down-home board games in addition to large quantities of food and beverage to supplement the occasion. Patrons, who responsibly purchased a glass of beer or wine, also had the option to satiate their hunger with kettle corn, pudding, and an assortment of food trucks. Whether there was a hankering for an American classic from The Grilled Cheese Truck, a Mediterranean dish from Meat the Greek, or Food Network seal-of-approved choices, like Ragin’ Cajun and Peaches’ Smokehouse, appetites of all persuasion were piqued and whetted.
Not to mention, the tasty treats were balanced with the visual feast of paint colors for the artistically inclined, and the sight of the most gorgeous of primal animals, including an Asian elephant and jaguar, only a few feet away.
Best of all, there is more to come for music and food aficionados – which describes practically everyone – in the upcoming weeks. On August 26th, the “Roaring Nights” series continues with an indie music installment, followed by an 80s night extravaganza (with radio/TV personality Richard Blade) that will pay its musical respects to fallen icons David Bowie and Prince.
For more information about the L.A. Zoo’s “Roaring Nights” summer concert series, visit
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