CT's Beardsley Zoo Marks 100th Bday with Lantern Fest

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo continues to offer guests enchanting Centennial Year experiences! Beginning September 15 and continuing through November 27, “Glow Wild,” a brilliant, illuminated Lantern Festival will be held at the Zoo Thursday through Sunday evenings. As a continuation of the Zoo’s yearlong 100th birthday celebration, the Zoo will host a larger-than-life Lantern Festival inspired by our wild world. This incredible evening festival will showcase more than 35 large scale illuminated sculptures that will amaze guests of all ages. 

The Glow Wild Lantern Festival is a first for Connecticut, and is designed for everyone to enjoy, whether a family outing, romantic date, or coworker get together. The festival will run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Timed tickets should be purchased online at beardsleyzoo.org in advance, offered in half hour increments. A small number of tickets may be available at the door, depending upon Zoo capacity. 

Adult tickets (ages 12 +) are $22., and Children (11 and under) are $20. Children under three and adults over 75 are free. Wheelchairs and strollers will be available to rent. Food will not be available for purchase but guests may bring their own.  

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “Reaching our Centennial is a milestone we want to celebrate by offering unique experiences to our guests: the Lantern Festival, the Skyhunters in Flight program every weekend this summer, our Centennial Animal Presentations on Thursdays and Fridays, and our very special musical guests at our Sunday Serenades. We invite everyone to celebrate with us this year.” 

The Glow Wild Sponsor is the Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation, along with Premier Sponsors Avangrid (UI, SCG), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), R.D. Scinto and the Emanuel Family, and The Ernest & Joan Trefz Foundation. Select Sponsors are Subway Restaurants, M & T Bank, and Newtown Savings Bank. 

“We are grateful to all of our Glow Wild sponsors,“ Dancho said. “Their generous support allows us to bring this unforgettable experience to the Zoo.”  

The Zoo is celebrating its 100th year throughout 2022, hosting Sunday Serenades throughout August with musical guests, as well as a Birds of Prey program called Skyhunters in Flight every weekend through Labor Day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Zoo’s Education Department is presenting Centennial Animal shows every Thursday and Friday all summer long at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. On October 29, the Zoo will celebrate with a Centennial Gala held at the Inn at Longshore in Westport. 

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 100thth year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tigers and leopards, maned wolves, and Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with Giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is a non-profit organization celebrating its Centennial year when the mission of helping fragile wildlife populations and ecosystems is more important than ever. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org


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