'Sunset at the Zoo' offers one more chance for summer fun

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Trashcan Joe and Mr. Ben to perform as zoo extends hours on Aug. 21

Don't panic! Yes, back-to-school sales are starting — and, yes, the leaves on top of that one tree are starting to look a bit yellow... But it's not too late to enjoy an idyllic, family-friendly summer evening at the Oregon Zoo.

The Sunset at the Zoo series — free with regular zoo admission — concludes Wednesday, Aug. 21, with live music and entertainment, activities for kids and the chance to get to know animals active during twilight hours. Zoo gates remain open until 8 p.m. with music and activities taking place from 5 p.m. on. (Visitors on zoo grounds by 8 p.m. may stay until 9:30.)

This week's festivities include a 7:45 p.m. set from Trashcan Joe, a local outfit that plays old-timey jazz, ragtime and blues on a variety of instruments, many of them homemade. (The band's name is shorthand for a "trashcan banjo"). And at 6 p.m., little ones and their grownup family members can rock out together with Mr. Ben — hailed by Portland Monthly as "the reigning king of Portland's budding 'kindie' music scene."

Also on the bill at various locations around the zoo: the 10-member-strong Zimba! marimba ensemble, specializing in the music of Zimbabwe and other countries of southern Africa; an unplugged set by local country-punkers Sassparilla; a bird show from the zoo's popular Wild Life Live program, presented by Portland General Electric; storytelling from the Dragon Theater puppet company; and some advanced hula-hoopery from Erika Fey, aka the Mayor of Hooperville. Guests can also participate in face-painting, self-guided twilight hikes, a glow-in-the-dark dragonfly craft, and games with a "crepuscular creatures" theme.

Sunset at the Zoo is presented this year by Banfield Pet Hospital, with support from Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and U.S. Bank.

The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
 
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
 
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian | 503-220-5714 | hova.najarian@oregonzoo.org