OKC ZOO CELEBRATES 30 SWEET YEARS OF HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN - 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 21, 2013
OKC ZOO CELEBRATES 30 SWEET YEARS OF HAUNT THE ZOO FOR HALLOWEEN
No tricks here! The Oklahoma City Zoo is celebrating 30 sweet years of Haunt the Zoo for Halloween. For the past three decades, the Zoo’s premiere trick-or-treating event, Haunt the Zoo, has been sharing the magic of Halloween and millions of pieces of candy with thousands of Oklahomans. Presented by the Children’s Hospital Volunteers and Kohl’s Cares, the tradition of Haunt the Zoo continues and runs Saturday, October 26, through Thursday, October 31, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly (rain or shine).
“Haunt the Zoo began as a small, grass roots event, but the entire community embraced it. It’s become a well-loved tradition enjoyed by multiple generations of Oklahomans each year,” said Tara Henson, Zoo marketing and public relations director. “We are thankful for the countless hours of volunteerism and the incredible support from sponsors and friends that have made Haunt the Zoo the ever-popular, must-visit Halloween stop in our great state.”
Haunt the Zoo is a safe, exciting way for guests of all ages to enjoy the Halloween season and is the Zoo’s largest fundraiser. Each night begins with children being welcomed by costumed mascot characters in the Zoo’s Global Plaza. Next, children hit the trick-or-treat trail and visit festive, fantasy-themed booths to collect tasty treats from costumed volunteers. Themes are designed to be “just right without the fright” and suitable for young ages. Grounds are patrolled by Zoo personnel, and all candy is securely stored and distributed from point of purchase to the children’s treat bags. Professional photographers, Party Pics, will be taking digital photos of Haunt the Zoo guests. All photos will be available online for guests to view and purchase. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Zoo.
In celebration of Haunt the Zoo’s big 3-0, guests will notice a few new bells and whistles added to this year’s decorations, and extra sweet activities are planned. Now through October 24, the public is invited to enter to win the Haunt the Zoo VIP Experience sponsored by Magic104/JakeFM/92.5 KOMA. The Zoo will roll out the “orange” carpet for 30 kids and their families who will receive extra special VIP treatment the evening of Monday, October 28. The “spook”tacular night includes paparazzi snapping photos, a VIP swag bag, a VIP badge, a ticket to Haunt the Zoo and a Zoo concierge for each winner. To top off the night, all VIP winners and their groups will get to be first in line to Haunt the Zoo! Enter online on www.magic104.com, www.jakefm.com or www.komaradio.com.
And the celebration continues! Red Silo Productions has featured the 30th Haunt the Zoo in its 2013 corn maize design at Reding Farm in Chickasha, Oklahoma. Visitors can explore the tiger, zebra and stingray maizes, to name a few. Reding Farm is open through November 3, and is located at 614 Reding Road off 9th street in Chickasha. The Zoomobile will be at Reding Farm on Saturday, October 26, for animal presentations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In addition, the Zoo’s historical museum, ZooZeum, opened its newest exhibit, Haunt the Zoo for Halloween. The gallery display showcases photos, keepsakes and one-of-a-kind props to commemorate three decades of thrills. The ZooZeum, located on Zoo grounds by the elephant habitat, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Haunt the Zoo continues to be “eek-o” friendly. Since 2010, the Zoo has encouraged event sponsors to provide candy that is palm-oil free or made with sustainable palm oil in support of orangutan conservation. Deforestation due to non-sustainable, palm-oil production is threatening populations of already-endangered orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia. Through its Web site and other educational programs, the Zoo encourages the public to support companies that work to help save the species from extinction. For more information and a list of palm-oil free products, visit www.okczoo.com/haunt-the-zoo. The Zoo employs other Hallow“green” initiatives, such as providing reusable, fabric trick-or-treat bags and ensuring that hundreds of pumpkins used to decorate Haunt the Zoo are delivered to the compost station for future gardens.
Tickets to Haunt the Zoo are $6 per child in advance or $7 per child at the event. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Zoo from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 31, or online at www.okczoo.com by clicking the “Buy Tickets” button. Admission includes an official treat bag (required for trick-or-treaters to receive candy). Accompanying adults ages 18 and older are admitted free. Stroller and wheelchair rental will be available. Haunt the Zoo is a special fundraiser and ZooFriends’ memberships do not apply. Should a ticket holder be unable to attend, the purchase will be considered a donation. No refunds will be issued.
Haunt the Zoo is presented by Children’s Hospital Volunteers & Kohl’s Cares. Sponsor partners include Allegiance Credit Union; AT&T Pioneers, OK 1st Chapter; Bank of Oklahoma; Cher Bumps & Assoc., Inc.; Cox Media; Epic Charter Schools; First Security Bank; Fred Jones Family Foundation; Frito-Lay; Great Plains Coca-Cola; Great Plains Dr Pepper; Keller Williams Realty Central Oklahoma; Love’s Travel Stops; Magic 104/Jake FM/92.5 KOMA; Paint Your Art Out; Pride Mixed Martial Arts; Upstage Theatre; Walmart and ZooFriends.
Get your Halloween party on and help us celebrate 30 years of Haunt the Zoo. The Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Guests must exit grounds at closing time. Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan at www.facebook.com/okczoobg or follow the Zoo on Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit the mobile site at www.okczoo.com.