For immediate release
Spooktacular is Back from Beyond to Thrill and Chill at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Friday, October 19th – October 21st & October 26th – 31st
October 18, 2012 - Jacksonville, Fl -
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been eagerly preparing for Spooktacular, the Halloween highlight of the First Coast. Opening this weekend, October 19-21 and continuing October 26-31, this year marks the 25th annual Spooktacular. Open from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. each night, Spooktacular will include pumpkins galore and a variety of family-friendly attractions including favorites like The Wonderland Trail, The Monster Mash Sock Hop and Pirate’s Cove. The newest family attraction, The Road to Oz includes actors and scenes based on a family favorite, The Wizard of Oz.
“We’re really excited to bring this family classic to Spooktacular,” said Executive Director, Tony Vecchio. “With a hand-painted yellow brick road and a 16’ x 16’ replica of Dorothy’s house, the Zoo pathway looks like a movie set come to life. Thirty-five flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch herself are sure to be a big thrill for young and old alike in The Witch’s Castle Scare Zone.”
Bringing a unique Halloween tradition to the Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia area, Spooktacular provides entertainment and fun for the whole family. Children may dress in costume as they collect candy from trick-or-treat stations located throughout the Zoo. Friendly characters like Alice in Wonderland, a frog prince and princess and a merry band of pirates greet guests along the path.
While Spooktacular provides a safe and welcoming place for younger Halloween enthusiasts, it will also satisfy the thrill seeker in those of us who like enjoy a good scare at the three optional frightening areas that are not recommended for the faint of heart. Set along the Zoo’s main path, three of the Zoo exhibits, which are quite inviting during the day, become bone-chilling scare zones once darkness sets in. The scare zone crowds will venture through the popular and inviting jaguar exhibit through the scene of The Wicked Witch’s Castle as they try and escape her plot for revenge on Dorothy. The Garden of the Living Dead examines a toxic plant that is turning its care givers into hoards of chlorophyll thirsty zombies. The final scare zone, often regarded as the scariest, showcases a band of trolls terrorizing any guest who enters The Forest of No Return.
About the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Started in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and regional, state and local awards for its botanical gardens. The Jacksonville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is open year-round, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Christmas day, and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, log on to http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.