Summer soiree blends fun, fundraising for zoo supporters

Oregon Zoo Foundation hosts its annual Zoolala event July 21

Once a year, Oregon Zoo supporters get the chance to really go wild and enjoy top-notch food, drink and entertainment while supporting the zoo's many hallmark programs. On Saturday, July 21, animal lovers and party animals alike will turn out for the Oregon Zoo Foundation's 13th annual Zoolala fundraiser, presented by Spirit Mountain Casino.

Guests can try their luck at Monte Carlo-style games, take in a variety of creative performances, and show their true colors with face painting and body art – all while enjoying culinary delights from more than 25 of the area's top restaurants. Beverages will be hosted by Deschutes Brewery and Chateau Ste. Michelle winery.

On the concert lawn, the Tara Williamson Quartet will start things off at 6 p.m., performance artist Jimmy Gersen will do a live painting at 7 p.m., and Beatles-through-the-ages band Apple Jam will keep the party grooving beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, many of the zoo's animals will be enjoying delights of their own. Elephants, orangutans, wolves, sun bears and others will search for hidden treats, play with enrichment toys, and revel in the after-hours atmosphere, all with live narration from wildlife experts.

"Zoolala is a great summer celebration," said Mark Loomis, chair of the Oregon Zoo Foundation board of trustees. "But it's also more than that – it's a chance to support the Oregon Zoo's renowned animal welfare, wildlife conservation and education programs."

Doors open at 6 p.m., at the old zoo entrance (gate E). Purchase tickets, or call 503-220-2785 for more information. Admission is $125 for zoo members and $150 for non-members. A sold-out VIP reception precedes the main event.

The zoo gates will close to regular visitors at 3 p.m. and the grounds will close at 4 p.m. on July 21 to set up for the event.

In addition to Spirit Mountain Casino, support for Zoolala comes from Ray and Karolette Peterson, NW Natural, The Standard, Nike, Lease Crutcher Lewis, Deschutes Brewery and Chateau Ste. Michelle.