A black tie affair with a wild side, thousands attend Jazzoo to benefit the Kansas City Zoo

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Locals call it the “best charity event in Kansas City,” and Friday night Jazzoo celebrated its 27th year with food, drinks and music for party animals from across the metro.

Jazzoo was sold out, with 5,000 people buying tickets for a fun night that supports a good cause.

It’s the Kansas City Zoo’s largest fundraiser. This year, 18 bars and more than 80 area restaurants provided food and drink for attendees.

All proceeds will go to help provide food for the zoo’s animals and for childrens’ educational programs.

But undoubtedly what attracts most is the “creative black tie” dress code, which makes for some great people-watching.

“It’s the most unusual event I’ve ever been to in my life,” said Jack Bonar, who has volunteered at Jazzoo for the past two decades. “I mean, creative black tie. People in shorts, you know tuxedo shirts, you know, sandals – it’s great. It’s fun.”

Jacquie Brockhoff, a Jazzoo sponsor, agreed the creative dress adds to the good time.

“Everybody gets the chance to kind of be on the wild and crazy side,” she said. “I don’t know if you’ve seen some people wearing pajama pants and Royals pants with a tuxedo. Our crew that’s here tonight has zebra vests on and wild dresses and we all made hats, so it’s just a lot of fun!”

The zoo anticipates raising well over half-a-million dollars at this year’s Jazzoo.