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Monday October 22, 2018

turnout heavy for boo at the zoo

Monday, October 23, 2017 14:30 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Turnout was heavy Saturday for trick or treating at northwest Indiana's only zoo and it's hard to imagine the atmosphere and weather being any better.

''It's a good time. Kids get to see the animals and get some candy,'' said Chris Drapeau, who came from Valparaiso with his wife, Allison, and their two-year old daughter, Evangelina.

''Boo at the Zoo'' drew more than 3,000 children last year.

At least that many this year poured into Washington Park Zoo at Michigan City's lakefront.

''We've had all three gates open and people have been flying in,'' said Shawne Sheldon, the zoo's retailer manager.

Kids roaming the grounds as dinosaurs, ''Dorothy'' from the Wizard of Oz and other characters were handed candy by adult volunteers dressed like witches, black cats, Minnie Mouse and other traditional Halloween figures at more than 40 stations throughout the grounds.

There were also plenty of babies in strollers and a few others in shoulder harnesses dressed up for the occasion.

Turning heads between each of the candy stations were African Lions, river otters, dozens of parakeets native to Australia and other wild animals like a grizzly bear and cougar.

Inside the big red barn high up on one of the hills were miniature donkeys, miniature horses, llamas and other smaller creatures including arctic foxes and a barn owl.

It was the first time passing out candy for Stephanie Dietrich of LaPorte who, perhaps, had the longest line to tend to since her candy station was just a few steps from the entranceway.

''I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I love it. I'm doing it next year for sure,'' said Dietrich dressed as a sorceress.

Jim Schroll and his wife, Debby, from Michigan City brought two of their grandchildren, Darrin, 4, and Harper, 1.

''It's good to take the kids out and they're getting their load of candy,'' said Scholl, who tries making it out every year.

''Boo at the Zoo'' has been held for close to 20-years or more and seems just as popular as ever.

''It's for all ages. It's not too scary. It's a family event and it just keeps getting bigger and better,'' said Huss.

Leighton Walter and Angela Barnes came from LaPorte with their young children, Jacob and Lucy.

''I think it's really nice they put this on because how often do you really get to come to the zoo and when you do come you get to go trick or treating and see a whole bunch of costumes and kids. They all seem like they're having a pretty good time,'' said Walter.

''We get to see animals and get candy,'' said Barnes.
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