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Apr 07, 2014

Add Some Zing to Spring With Karamu XXVI “Jungle Boogie” at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Karamu XXVI, the signature gala at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, returns this Saturday, April 12 with a bright and festive atmosphere inspired by the theme “Jungle Boogie.” Karamu (pronounced Keh-rah-moo), from the Swahili word for “party,” is presented by Regions for the 15th consecutive year.

26th Annual Event Benefits Animal Care and Education Programs at the Zoo

TAMPA, Fla. (APRIL 7, 2014) — Karamu XXVI, the signature gala at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, returns this Saturday, April 12 with a bright and festive atmosphere inspired by the theme “Jungle Boogie.” Karamu (pronounced Keh-rah-moo), from the Swahili word for “party,” is presented by Regions for the 15th consecutive year.

Event chair Toni Everett, co-chair Henderson Everett Lee, and the Karamu steering committee will host the 26th anniversary event in the Zoo’s spectacular Safari Lodge events facility and adjoining outdoor plaza.

The theme of Jungle Boogie comes to life with the use of bright, jungle-inspired artwork throughout the event’s décor, infusing the atmosphere with energy and excitement. The interior of the Lodge will be filled with dozens of life-size silhouettes of the Zoo’s iconic animals (some as tall as 17 feet) painted with invigorating neon colors against a dark backdrop encircling the entire room. Dining tables will have linens, centerpieces and lights in complementary vibrant hues. The bold artwork and vivid palettes in this expansive space will create visual energy and set the tone for the rest of the event.

Guests can groove to the rhythms of the jungle with two live bands presented by Raymond James: City Groove (R&B, jazz and soul) and Impulse World Beat (Caribbean). Non-stop action including dancing, live and silent auctions will add to the festivities.

For the second year, the Zoo is working with Qtego Auction Technology on a mobile phone bidding system for the extensive silent auction. Once a guest registers his or her mobile phone number, the guest can view the auction items and participate in bidding immediately.

The annual gala welcomes guests at 6:30 p.m. with up-close animal encounters in the Safari Africa Plaza and cocktails. At 8 p.m., Ovations Food Services will cater a three-course plated dinner featuring snow crab claws, a duet of roasted lamb and salmon, and cheese fondue with seasonal fresh fruits and accompaniments.

Karamu began with friends of the Zoo working together. Some 26 years ago, Sally Lowry Baldwin and Mason M. Lykes brought together the Tampa Bay community in support of the “new” Zoo. This year’s event is dedicated to Sally Lowry Baldwin who was affectionately thought of as the “first lady” of the Zoo. Event proceeds benefit animal care and education programs at the Zoo, a charitable organization. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo gratefully acknowledges the sponsors who make Karamu XXVI possible: Regions Bank, Raymond James, David Alexander Jewelry, Barbara B. Hobbs, Ovations Food Services, and TAPS Restaurant Bar and Lounge. Event proceeds benefit animal care and education programs at the Zoo, a charitable organization.

For more information about Karamu XXVI visit www.LowryParkZoo.com/Karamu. To inquire about tickets or tables at the event please call (813) 935-8552 x 202.

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Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

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