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Zoofari To Support Redevelopment Of Columbus Zoo’s Oldest Section, North America, and Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Zoofari is set to take place at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this weekend, on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This year’s Zoofari event aims to support the reimagining of the North America region, the oldest area of the Zoo known for housing threatened and rescued animals. Presented by Fifth Third Bank, Zoofari offers guests an opportunity to enjoy a summer evening under the stars while contributing to the Zoo’s conservation efforts.

As Zoofari enters its 51st year, organizers have made strategic decisions to revamp the event and position it as one of the Zoo’s three primary fundraising events. The funds raised through Zoofari will contribute to the conservation work and mission of the Columbus Zoo. The North America project and other mission-focused initiatives rely on various sources of funding, including federal and state grants, philanthropic donations, and earned revenue. Zoofari now plays a vital role in supporting these funding needs.

Bald Eagle, photo by Amanda Carberry, courtesy of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

In response to the new direction, ticket prices have been adjusted to offer enhanced guest experiences. Attendees can look forward to exciting additions, such as a live event artist, special animal experiences, pop-up auctions, and high-profile entertainment acts. The event will continue to feature delicious food samplings and creative cocktails, which have been favorites among attendees in previous years.

Guests attending Zoofari can choose between two adventures. The first option is to enjoy the comedic stylings of nationally-known comic Pete Lee at the Zoo’s Lakeside Theater. Alternatively, they can revel in exciting musical entertainment at the Zoo’s Water’s Edge Events Park. If you’d prefer a more musical evening, you can head over to the concert where you’ll be entertained by Walk The Moon.

Photo by Grahm S. Jones, courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

In addition to the diverse cuisine and entertainment, Zoofari guests, as well as Ohio residents, will have the chance to participate in the 2023 Zoofari Car Raffle. The raffle offers the opportunity to win a 2022 LAND ROVER Range Rover Evoque Utility 4D S 4WD, valued at over $44,000. Further information about ticket purchases and the raffle will be available in the coming days.

Zoofari organizers, Suzanne and Kevin Larson, expressed their enthusiasm for the event’s growth and its contribution to the Zoo’s mission of connecting people and wildlife. They emphasized the importance of the fundraiser in supporting wildlife conservation efforts and expressed genuine excitement about celebrating alongside guests.

General admission tickets for Zoofari are available at $300 per person. These tickets grant access to food samplings, three drink tickets for beer, wine, or specialty drinks, and the live adventure.

Photo by Grahm S. Jones, courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

For an elevated experience, guests can opt for the Safari Club ticket option at $500 per person. Safari Club ticket holders will enjoy additional perks, including an invitation to the CEO reception, exclusive access to club areas with preferred views of the entertainment, a Zoofari commemorative gift, and four drink tickets for beer, wine, or specialty drinks.

To ensure an enjoyable experience for all, the number of guests attending Zoofari will be limited. Organizers encourage interested individuals to purchase their tickets in advance to secure their spot.

The North America region at the Columbus Zoo is slated for redevelopment, with a significant investment of approximately $33 million. The project aims to transform the region into a captivating destination where guests can learn about native species and contribute to the protection of endangered animals.

The initial phase of the redevelopment will focus on creating new habitats for Mexican wolves, bald eagles, black bears, North American river otters, and trumpeter swans. Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for the fall, and the funding for these endeavors will come from various sources, including federal and state grants, philanthropic donations, and earned revenue.

For the safety of all attendees, identification will be checked at the event. Guests are required to present a state-issued ID, driver’s license, or military ID. Individuals under the legal drinking age will not be permitted to enter. To purchase tickets and gather more information about Zoofari, interested individuals can visit the Zoo’s website.