Drive-thru ZooLights opens, illuminating Oregon Zoo


It might look a bit different this year, but ZooLights is still a go.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Zoo’s annual ZooLights opened for the season Saturday night.

The holiday tradition at the Oregon Zoo looks a bit different this year. The event is now a drive-thru experience.

Visitors will need to purchase tickets before they go. Tickets can be purchased up to seven days in advance at the Oregon Zoo’s website.

ZooLights will run through Jan. 10 and will be open every night except for on Christmas Day.

This year, the zoo is decorated with more than 1.5 million colored lights.

The fate of the annual light display was uncertain after Gov. Kate Brown announced the statewide “freeze,” but the zoo said it received additional guidance from the governor’s office to keep the event open with a drive-thru experience.

“Everything’s been a little different in 2020, and ZooLights is no exception,” zoo events manager Nikki Simmons said. “Like most of this community, our biggest concern right now is protecting everyone’s health and safety. We’re just thankful we could come up a good way for the community to enjoy this holiday tradition.”

The zoo has suspended daytime operations and is closed to walk-through visitors as of Nov. 18, the day the statewide freeze began.

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