Monday, July 16th, 2018

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Cleveland Zoological Society Twilight at the Zoo

Liz Durham and Rob Durham with Jennifer and Sean Boyle (Twilight at the Zoo)

Kellie Tallentire, Laura Jogan and Chris Cowen
(Twilight at the Zoo)

Richie Anderson, “Rio”, John Tudela and Archana Oillary (Twilight at the Zoo)

Gregory Pasiadis with his mother Vanessa Pasiadis
(Cotillion Ball)

Cleveland Zoological Society
Twilight at the Zoo

It’s August in Cleveland, so there’s only one thing to do: head down Wildlife Way to “Twilight at the Zoo,” the over-21, over-the-top summertime blast that’s got to be on any “best party” list. This year’s version — the 17th annual gathering — was perfect in so many ways. Weather: a 10Plus. The crowd: happy people savoring the music of 14 local bands, from rock to salsa to “Nawlins” cool. The animals: most seemed to lay low until the humans left, although the giraffes, seals and polar bears seemed to get into the swing of things. It was a great chance, too, to see the progress being made on the impressive, $25 million African Elephant Crossing project that will open next spring.
Liz Fowler, Executive Director of the Cleveland Zoological Society, said the VIP party was a sell-out, giving several hundred people access to cocktails, a raffle drawing and premium eats from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Flemings Steakhouse and Cleveland Chop House. The rest of the nearly 6,800 party-goers certainly didn’t feel neglected. Buffets were set up with pastas, bar-food nibbles like chicken tenders and jalapeno poppers, and mini-sandwiches from Bob Evans. And of course, ample supplies of beer and wine were included in the ticket price.
It was a night for strolling all around the zoo grounds, passing under the newly opened Fulton Road bridge, and dancing ‘til midnight. This is the Zoo’s biggest fundraiser, and it generated an elephant-sized purse of nearly $480,000! STORY BY LINDA McMULLEN/ PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN BASHIAN

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