Zoo Fest at the Pine Grove Zoo now being planned

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

On Saturday, Oct. 4, the Pine Grove Zoo will be holding a brand new fundraiser. Instead of the Zoo Boo this year, the first Zoo Fest will be the event to attend this fall.

“Zoo Boo was 12 years old. So many other groups were holding Halloween parties, our attendance was dropping,” said Director of the Pine Grove Zoo Marnita VanHoecke. “We are going to shake it up with Zoo Fest.”

The event will start with a six-week scavenger hunt beginning Sunday, Aug. 24. That will continue until the medallion is found.

Clues for the medallion scavenger hunt will be printed weekly in the Morrison County Record.

The winner of the scavenger hunt will walk away with several prizes worth a total of $1,350. They include a tea party for eight a the Waller House Inn, a one-night stay at Grand Casino Mille Lacs which includes a meal, a weekend hot tub rental, a year’s membership to Pine Grove Zoo and more. The medallion is guaranteed to be in Little Falls.

ZooFest-LogoA coloring contest, sponsored by Coborn’s, will begin Friday, Aug. 29.

The Zoo Fest will entertain attendees from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The activities are endless and include:

•Enjoying a hay ride;

•Learning about conservation tips from Camp Ripley representatives;

•Dancing with one’s teddy bear to the beats of the “Teddy Bear Band;”

•Guessing the number of pieces of candy corn and/or animal crackers and winning the opportunity to watch the carnivores being fed;”

•Entering in a human hamster ball contest;

•Learning about animals from specific regions around the world and having a passport stamped at each educational booth;

•Building or preparing special treats for zoo residents at the enrichment building booth; and

•Entering in pumpkin throwing, pumpkin coloring and pumpkin carving contests.

Face painting will also be available for anyone who wants to look like a zoo animal.

The Cougar Cafe will be open during the event offering Zoo dogs, tofurkey dogs, apple cider, coffee and pumpkin cupcakes.

“This event is everything we wanted. It’s family oriented and educational. It’s also affordable at only $4 per person,” said VanHoecke. “Membership to the Pine Grove Zoo is only $30 during the six-week scavenger hunt, so while looking for the medallion, each family only has to pay one time while entering the zoo.”

For more information, contact the Pine Grove Zoo at (320) 616-5595.