Sunday is the final day of ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo in SW Portland and runs until 8PM tonight. 2011 has been the most successful ZooLights year ever, with over 180,000 visitors (140,000 last year). Usually the zoo has a free admission day for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but it appears to be moved up this year since schools and most businesses are closed on Monday.
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From Press Release:
Oregon Zoo Free Admission Day
January 2, 2012 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More info: www.oregonzoo.org
The Oregon Zoo will ring out 2011 in record fashion this weekend with the final nights of its best-attended ZooLights ever -- and then ring in 2012 with a celebratory day of free admission on Monday, Jan. 2.
¬Å“We're so thankful for the community's continued support of the zoo and its mission, especially in this challenging economy,¬Â said Kim Smith, zoo director. ¬Å“Offering a free day is one way to show our appreciation.¬Â
Local schools, government offices and many businesses are closed Jan. 2 for the New Year's holiday. Zoohours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the day.
The zoo has drawn more than 1.5 million visitors for the fifth year in a row in 2011, and it reached another attendance milestone Dec. 27 when 6-year-old Leland Heflin of Camas, Wash., became the 50 millionth zoo visitor since officials began tracking attendance in 1959.
To mark the occasion, Heflin and his family were awarded a prize package that included a one-year zoo membership, an assortment of gift items from the Zoo Store and the opportunity to help deliver Packy the elephant's 50th birthday cake this spring.
The zoo's best-attended ZooLights ever continues through Sunday, Jan. 1. As of Dec. 29, the popular holiday light display had drawn more than 180,000 visitors, well beyond last year's record total of 141,716. ZooLights' popularity has also helped the zoo top its overall attendance record for December, last set in 2006.
¬Å“ZooLights has brought a lot of brightness to this holiday season,¬Â Smith said, ¬Å“and the future of the Oregon Zoo looks especially bright too. With the recently approved zoo master plan, we now have a blueprint for the next twenty years.¬Â
Among the highlights zoo visitors can look forward to in 2012: In January, a new veterinary medical center is slated to open, giving vet staff the space and equipment needed to provide the very best in animal care. In April, one of Portland's most famous and beloved residents, Packy, turns 50. And toward the year's end, officials expect Rose-Tu will deliver a new addition to the zoo's world-renowned Asian elephant herd.
ZooLights, presented by Fred Meyer with support from The Boeing Company, runs through Jan. 1 at the zoo. Hours are 5-8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 5-8 p.m. on Sunday. ZooLights package tickets, which include admission and a train ride, are $10.75 for adults (12-64), $9.25 for seniors (65 and older), $7.75 for children (3-11) and free for children 2 and under. Admission-only prices are $9 for adults, $7.50 for seniors, $6 for children and free for children 2 and under.
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