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Silver Sparkles at Riverbanks

For Immediate Release: October 24, 2012

Zoo to Celebrate Milestone 25th Anniversary of Lights Before Christmas

[Columbia, SC] — It’s as much of a holiday custom as mistletoe, egg nog and Santa Claus. Lights Before Christmas at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden — a Midlands family tradition for 25 years — will celebrate its milestone silver anniversary beginning on Saturday, November 17.

Guests are invited to take in the sights and sounds of the holidays during this can’t miss event—brought to you by OneMain Financial—that will include old favorites as well as some new options for making family memories. In addition to the more than one million twinkling lights and hundreds of animated images that adorn the Zoo every year, guests this year will have an opportunity to walk inside a 15-foot, life-size snow globe as well as have the chance to name a penguin!

The ornate event will also once again feature the Music in Motion lights spectacular, a 20-foot Christmas tree moving to the rhythm of popular seasonal tunes. Songs from the tree resonate throughout the Zoo’s Palmetto Plaza, where you’ll also find the cozy Jingle Bell Bonfire—a popular spot for toasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa on cold winter evenings.

In addition, on the nights leading up to Christmas Eve, guests can visit with Santa Claus at Santa’s Village; and don’t forget, Riverbanks is also the only place in town where it snows every night.

The Zoo will light up each evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm, November 17-December 30. Lights will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Guests who purchase tickets in advance will receive a $2 discounted rate of $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or at any Zoo ticket window.

All Riverbanks members are eligible to receive one free visit when they show their membership card and picture ID at the gate. Guest passes are not accepted.

Parking for the event will be on the Zoo side only.