The rain did not dampen the spirits of those attending the State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s 29th annual Gardens of the World Ball Saturday as men entered the conservatory dressed in tuxedos with women on their arms dressed in jazz-style flapper dresses and feather headpieces.

The theme for this year’s ball was “Midnight in Paris … An Elegant Soiree” and was inspired by “Moulin Rouge,” a famous cabaret in Paris.

To start the evening, guests enjoyed cocktails and French hors d’oeuvres in the Gardenside Room as they perused items up for bid in a silent auction, including a trip to Paris and vacation getaways to Costa Rica, St. Simons Island, the Georgia mountains and various cities. Other silent auction items included rounds of golf at popular golf courses, a quail hunt, University of Georgia football tickets, antique French birdcages, dinners, wine tastings and jewelry such as pearl necklaces, gold watches and a crystal necklace.

After entering their bids, guests walked the winding path through the garden conservatory’s tropical plant collection into the dining area where floral arrangements of red, pink and orange roses from C.L. Morehead of Flowers Inc. filled the air with a floral smell so delightful everyone stopped to take notice and comment.

As the sound of French jazz music filled the air, guests made their way to tables set with gold-trimmed tableware and crystal wine glasses to enjoy a French dinner of filet mignon in a bearnaise sauce, Coquilles St. Jacques a la Parisienne, Puree de Pomme de Terre a L’ail and Pain Francais Avec Miel de Lavande. A dessert of Profiteroles au Chocolat and coffee finished the meal.

Dancing, with music by the Joe Gransden Quartet, ended the night.

The event was co-chaired by Kathy Lanigan and Henrietta Singletary and the silent auction was co-chaired by Betty Balentine and Mrs. Kendrick Mattox. BNY Mellon Wealth Management was the presenting sponsor.

Since its inception in 1985, the Gardens of the World Ball has generated more than $3 million for support of the garden’s mission of teaching, research and outreach throughout Georgia and beyond.

A part of the University of Georgia, the Botanical Garden fosters appreciation, understanding and stewardship of plants and nature through collections and displays, horticultural gardens, educational programs and research. As a public, nonprofit organization, the garden encourages plant conservation, habitat protection and preservation of Georgia’s natural environment.