This will be the 10th anniversary of the zoo’s popular Zoolute to Dyess Air Force Base, an annual event that always coincides with National Armed Forces Day, a holiday when people all over the country pay tribute to men and women who serve the U.S. armed forces.
Dyess AFB leaders and other local dignitaries will be on hand for the 9 a.m. opening ceremony, the singing of the national anthem and presentation of the flag by the Cooper High School ROTC.
Throughout the day, military families will be admitted free with the presentation of military ID. A free lunch and snacks will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., and musical performers will entertain throughout the day. Children can bounce in an air castle shaped like a jaguar.
At 3:30 p.m. American and Texas flags flown over the State and U.S. capitols will be given away by drawing, compliments of U.S. Congressman Randy Neugebauer and Texas Rep. Susan King.
Sponsors for the event include the Abilene Reporter-News, American Electric Power, Aaron’s Sales & Lease, Communities of Abilene Federal Credit Union, Cindy & Scott Taliaferro, Jr., Dr. J Express Care and Areawide Phonebook.
The zoo will be open regular hours for non-military visitors, as well.
The Abilene Zoo is home to more than 900 animals from 250 species. The Abilene Zoo is open 7 days a week (closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admittance is 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3.50 for children ages 3-12, $5 for seniors aged 60+. Members are admitted free. Memberships start at $30. www.abilenezoo.org. 325-676-6085. During the summer, the zoo will be open every Thursday until 9 p.m., with admission ending at 8:30 p.m.