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Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo Announces Extended Run for Zoominations

by User Not Found | May 20, 2015
By popular demand, the lights will continue to shine on Zoominations, a Chinese Lantern Festival of Lights, for an additional month. The special exhibition has been extended through June 28 with a new schedule to accommodate early summer travelers.

One-of-a-Kind Illuminating Experience to Shine for One More Month

TAMPA, Fla. (May 20, 2015) — By popular demand, the lights will continue to shine on Zoominations, a Chinese Lantern Festival of Lights, for an additional month. The special exhibition has been extended through June 28 with a new schedule to accommodate early summer travelers.

For the remainder of May, Zoominations will continue nightly, opening at 6 p.m. Starting in June, Zoominations will operate Wednesday through Sunday nights only, with an opening time of 7 p.m. to adjust for longer daylight. During June, Mondays and Tuesdays will be dark.

Zoominations debuted at the Zoo February 28 during Chinese New Year celebrations (which occurred February 19-March 5 throughout China). To date, the festival has run for 80 nights at the Zoo – the longest nighttime special exhibition in the Zoo’s 28 year history -- and has earned praise from thousands of enthusiastic visitors.

Previously seen in London, Toronto and Beijing, this international cultural experience is the first of its kind in the Southeast U.S. Zoominations features 30 spectacular scenes across 26 acres of the Zoo representing historical landmarks, nature, folklore and groups of animals.

One of the spectacular structures on display is a 60-foot-tall Porcelain Pagoda, a replica of the Manfeilong Pagoda in the Yunnan Province of China, made from 70,000 pieces of traditional blue and white porcelain – each applied by hand. View the incredible time lapse footage on the Zoo’s YouTube channel. Another amazing creation is the Qilin, a mythical creature with the head of a dragon and body of a tiger, made from thousands of vials of colored liquid tied together by hand.

To create the larger-than-life lanterns, artisans draw patterns of the structures on the ground, design and weld 3-D wire frames to make the forms, insert LED lights into the framework, and apply silk fabric over the frames. A pair of 100-foot-long dragons, traditional symbols of Chinese culture, were constructed onsite and can be seen emerging from both sides of the Zoo’s African tunnel.

Zoominations is a nighttime event that carries a separate ticket from Zoo daytime admission. Combination tickets for daytime admission and Zoominations are also available, saving guests $10 per ticket. The festival runs nightly at 6 p.m. through May 31, then select nights (Wednesdays through Sundays) at 7 p.m. in June. (Specific dates are June 3-7, 10-14, 17-21 & 24-28.)

Visit www.TampaLanternFest.org for more information or to purchase tickets for this one-of-a-kind illuminating experience at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Find updates on Zoominations on Facebook and images on Flickr.

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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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