35,701 through the gates at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Record-breaking 35,701 through the gates at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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The Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo saw record-breaking numbers through the door Saturday, April 26 for a weekend of free admission. The Cleveland Metropolitan Zoo saw record-breaking numbers through the door Saturday, April 26 for a weekend of free admission.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A free day at the zoo brought out a stampede of visitors.

35,701 guests celebrated the Cleveland Foundation's 100-year anniversary Saturday, April 26 shattering the old record set back in June 2011 of 24,746 visitors to the park.

"We are thrilled that a record number of Greater Clevelanders took advantage of our Cleveland Foundation Day. It's a key goal of out monthly gifts to make the community aware of the nationally renowned assets available right in our own backyard," remarked Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

This is the first time in nearly 20 years Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has offered a free weekend admission to all visitors, including entry into The RainForest.

The Cleveland Foundation Day at the Zoo was the foundation's latest gift to the community as part of its 12-month centennial celebration. Zoo staff and members of the Cleveland Zoological Society collaborated with 100 volunteers to make the day a success for local families. The free admission day coincided with Earth Day 2014.

"We opened the zoo gates for this rare free day to make sure the entire community could experience and enjoy all that it, and the entire Park District offers," said Eckardt.

Guests were treated to music, animal enrichment demonstrations, Meet the Keeper sessions, live animal shows, mascot characters in costume and plenty of hands-on interactive programs and activities.

"We're honored that the Cleveland Foundation chose the Park District to be part of its ear-long anniversary celebration," said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. "We made history, shared our mission and helped make memories for a record-breaking number of families who came out to play."

The Cleveland Foundation played a key role in creation of the Cleveland Metroparks and has given $2.2 million to the Park District over the years to support various reservations, nature centers, and educational programs.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is located at 3900 Wildlife Way.

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