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(Idaho Falls, ID) -- COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in the cancellation of several upcoming fundraising events at the Idaho Falls Zoo hosted by the Tautphaus Park Zoological Society (TPZS). The canceled events include 5 O’Clock Some Bear, Wines in the Wild, Zoo Brew, Boo at the Zoo, Zoo lights, and Masquerade Ball. Full refunds have been issued to all who’ve purchased tickets.
“It was not an easy decision, but unfortunately was the right decision given this year’s limitations,” says Zoo Director David Pennock.
While you may think it’s as easy as opening the gates and putting on a fun costume, there are several complex factors that go into successfully organizing one of the city’s largest events and the region’s largest Halloween celebration.
“It takes months and many hours of hard work by several zoo staff and volunteers to make events like Boo at the Zoo possible each year,” states Pennock. “Just setting up the lights alone takes over four months to install.”
COVID-19 has resulted in significant budget cuts for the zoo, not allowing for the normal number of seasonal support staff to be hired. Also, for health and safety the involvement of volunteers at the zoo this year has been greatly reduced. Finally, some of the companies and organizations that have participated in the popular events for years are not able to as a result of the impact COVID-19 has had on their business.
“We would like to sincerely thank this year’s wonderful event sponsors who support the zoo,” says TPZS executive director Laurie Gravatt, “We all know these have been challenging, ever-changing times and we really appreciate everyone’s understanding.”
These events and several others annually put on by TPZS are key fundraisers for the zoo which, along with other donations and contributions, support zoo improvement projects like the William J. Maeck Education Center.
You can still support your zoo by contributing to TPZS’ zoo fundraising efforts at https://www.tpzs.info/donate/. All funds from fundraising events and your donations go directly to support future projects and improvements at your zoo.
Stay tuned for updates on zoo happenings and events by following the Idaho Falls Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts or visit www.idahofallszoo.org.