Racine Zoo to host new 'Jack-O'-Lantern Nights' Halloween event

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Racine Zoo announced a new Halloween event, Jack-O'-Lantern Nights, where more than 1,000 hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns and festive illuminations will light up the night. 

The event will take place Sept. 29 through Oct. 30, with hours from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. 

According to a news release, guests will stroll through the zoo along a dedicated paved pathway and become immersed in dazzling lights and charming decorations. The intricately designed jack-o’-lanterns will look like pieces of art during the day and come to life at night for all to see. There will be an abundance of custom designs to discover including cats, owls, scarecrows, and more Halloween-themed creations. To compliment the jack-o’-lanterns, there will be enchanting light displays throughout the route.

Within the event, the Zoo will be hosting a decorating contest that businesses and organizations can sign up to participate in. Guests will be able to vote on their favorite decorated space and the winner will be announced at the end of the event. As they take in the delightful sights, guests can warm up with seasonal food and beverages on site.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing this event to the Racine Zoo.” Said Beth Heidorn, Racine Zoo Executive Director, “This is a fun, family event that will let you see the Zoo in a different ‘light’! With the amazing support from the State of Wisconsin’s Tourism Department and two incredibly creative companies, we are certain to put smiles on our guests’ faces! Please join us this fall!”

The Zoo says it is working with the company Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, based in New York, to create these artistic masterpieces to line the walkways of the Zoo in a glorious fall setting.

For the light displays, the Zoo is working with Traditions Holiday Lighting and Seasonal Décor. Traditions is based in Wisconsin, providing services to clients from Green Bay to Lake Geneva.

“The Racine Zoo has been a top attraction for more than 99 years, and is always finding new ways to attract and delight visitors. ” said Secretary-designee Anne Sayers, “Congratulations on receiving this JEM grant to build a spectacular fall event that is positioned perfectly to capitalize on the Chicago drive market.”

Jack-O’-Lantern Nights is supported by Travel Wisconsin through a Joint Effort Marketing Grant, or JEM Grant. As a $20.9 billion industry in Wisconsin that supports more than 169,000 jobs, tourism is crucial to the state’s economic recovery and success. JEM grants are just one of the tools in the toolbox for the Department of Tourism to partner with organizations and nonprofits around the state who are using innovation and creativity to bring visitors and dollars to their community.

Admission is only available at the door and is $10 per person and free for children 2 years and younger. Proceeds benefit the animals and programs of the Racine Zoo.

To learn more about Jack-O’-Lantern Nights, CLICK HERE

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