Zoobilation presented by Indianapolis Power & Light Company
Save the Date: June 9, 2017 • Tickets on Sale: Feb. 1, 2017
Ever heard of Zoobilation? It’s the Indianapolis Zoological Society’s largest charity event fundraiser, which takes places each summer at the zoo. The formal, adult-only event offers several local and nation food vendors, high-end liquor bars, music and offers class and style for everyone, even those that aren’t listed as VIP. It’s a large part of how the nonprofit organization supports programming and continues to make the city’s zoo one of the Nation’s finest.
We got a second to learn more about this year’s event from the Indianapolis Zoo’s public relations specialist, Carla Knapp.
Edible Indy: What should we expect from the theme Tropical Adventure?
Carla Knapp: The theme Tropical Adventure recognizes more than 30 years of partying with a purpose as well as the arrival of the Indianapolis Zoo’s all new Macaws exhibit, which opens just a few weeks before Zoobilation. Our guests enjoy “going wild” to incorporate our theme into their fashions from head to toe, so we expect to see lots of color and more than a few feathers.
EI: What will be the highlight of the event this year?
Carla: Zoobilation 2017 will be the first event hosted inside the Zoo’s incredible new Bicentennial Pavilion. This stunning, indoor-outdoor structure was designed with beautiful, natural materials, and we expect it to be the ideal spot for people to experience Indy’s most spectacular party of the summer.
EI: Every year the restaurants get more and more creative—what was the most creative theme seen last year and how might it get topped this year?
Carla: It’s hard to narrow it down to just one or even just a few standouts because all of the restaurants come to Zoobilation with so much excitement and creativity. We love that and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next! We also really appreciate that all of the restaurants are donating their food and their time to be part of our event. So we truly appreciate all of our restaurant participants for the efforts they put into making Zoobilation one wild night of indulgence!
EI: Gin, Bourbon, Whiskey, Wine—anything you can reveal about the bars this year?
Carla: Some of these details are still in the works. But I will say the thing that makes Zoobilation one of the most sought-after tickets of the year is that every part of the experience, including our beverages, is of the highest quality while also being on point with the newest and hottest trends. We go over the top with luxury, and that’s something our guests can count on year after year.
EI: How important is this event year after year to the zoo? What do the funds go towards?
Carla: We’re so incredibly thankful for the community’s support of this event for more than 30 years. As one of the largest privately funded zoos in the nation, receiving no direct tax support, fundraising events like Zoobilation are critical to the success of the Indianapolis Zoo. All of the proceeds of this event help fund our animal care and conservation programs.
EI: When do tickets go on sale and how quickly do you think they will sell out?
Carla: Tickets will go on sale Feb. 1. In the past couple years, they’ve sold out within a matter of hours, and we expect tickets to go quickly again this year.
What does Edible Indy think about Zoobilation? Jennifer Rubenstein’s, co-owner of Edible Indy’s has been a judge for a few years. "This event is not only the most fun of all food events we attend, but we are passionate about the cause. A few years ago we did an article about "Feast for the the Beast" tallying how local all of the animals eat at the Indianapolis Zoo and it really made us love the zoo more. The zoo fights to bring a top notch event to a top notch zoo." Her favorite themed restaurant last year was St. Elmo’s Steakhouse who did a two-story Animal House theme including fraternity t-shirts and DJ Susan Decker was pushing out 80s music.
Digital content manager and editor Rachel Russell is no stranger to Zoobilation and has enjoyed attending for several years. While she enjoys the food—her favorite stop is always Blondie’s Cookies—she likes entertainment most during the event. You’ll find four stages throughout the zoo grounds, and if you can’t find a musical flavor you enjoy, you’re simply not trying hard enough.
Learn more about Indianapolis Zoo events by visiting IndianapolisZoo.com.