LAFAYETTE – The Columbian Park Zoo has announced some big changes to the annual Boo at the Zoo event this year, including the extension of the event into two weekends as well as the addition of time slots, which will require online reservation. These changes, among others, come in effort to prioritize the community’s health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, called “Boo at the Zoo Weekends,” will be a scaled-down version of the regular annual Boo at the Zoo event. Boo at the Zoo Weekends will feature Halloween decorations and music as well as fun animal Halloween enrichments. In an effort to avoid large gatherings and physical contact, there will be no hands-on activities or live performances, however, attendees will enjoy no-touch animal and artifact viewing, a vulture scavenger hunt, a virtual costume contest, selfie stations, and prepackaged, take-home goodie bags filled with candy and treats. Attendees will be asked to adhere to local guidelines for social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand hygiene. “For more than 20 years, Boo at the Zoo has been a favorite local event,” said Neil Dale, Zoo Director. “So it’s really important to us to find a way to make it work this year. We are proud to be able to continue to offer a safe Halloween experience that the whole family can enjoy. By extending the event an extra weekend and adding designated time slots, the Zoo will be able to limit capacity and safely practice social distancing.”

The event will run October 16, 17, 18, and 23, 24, 25. Each day will have three time slots to choose from: 11:00am-1:00pm, 1:30pm-3:30pm, and 4:00pm-6:00pm. Advance tickets are $5 each and can be purchased online via www.columbianparkzoo.org. Children ages two years old and under are free. Tickets are non-refundable, and can only be redeemed for the selected time slot. Any time slot that does not sell out will have a limited number of tickets available at the gate for $7 each (subject to availability).

Also new this year, is a community pumpkin decorating contest. “Since we had to eliminate a lot of our hands-on activities, including our pumpkin patch, we wanted to come up with another fun way to engage

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the community,” said Dale. “For a $50 gift, local businesses and organizations can decorate a pumpkin to be on display throughout the back-to-back weekend event. We’ll display their name and logo and attendees will vote for their favorite pumpkin!”

Boo at the Zoo Weekends is a fundraiser for the Lafayette Parks Foundation. All proceeds benefit the Columbian Park Zoo and are used to fund capital improvements, various Zoo projects, and educational programs. For more information about Boo at the Zoo Weekends, please call 765-807-1540 or visit columbianparkzoo.org. Stay up to date on Zoo happenings at www.facebook.com/cpzoo and www.twitter.com/ColumbianPrkZoo!”