Saturday, November 23, 2002

New displays, kids' activities featured

[photo] Donald Rumple of Amelia with his daughter Andrea, 2, enjoy lights at the kickoff of the PNC Festival of Lights on Friday.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Zoo's 20th annual Festival of Lights, which begins today, is actually much more than its 2.5 million lights.

Kids can visit Mrs. Claus' Cookie Kitchen and ice and sprinkle their own holiday cookies. Or they can go into the igloo and make jingle-bell necklaces.

Special volunteers work through the summer getting the cords and bells ready for little fingers to assemble, said Diane Weber, director of marketing for the zoo.

"Our Nativity scene is live, which is kind of exciting," Ms. Weber said. "We have sheep and goats."

[photo] Fireworks explode in the sky as Santa Claus waves to the crowd during the lighting ceremony.
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But the light show is the thing.

"We have 40 new light displays, one of which is a very fun train," said Ms. Weber. The laser show features new music and choreography.

Families can enjoy the PNC Festival of Lights through Dec. 30. But while the zoo is open Christmas Eve, the festival will not be, and both will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Hours are noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Admission: 12 and over, $11; children 2-12, $6; seniors over 62, $9. Parking is $6.50.


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