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Embark on an Epicurean Expedition at Riverbanks ZOOfari

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2013

Wildest Fundraiser in Town Set for Friday, September 27

[Columbia, SC] — Enjoy a palate-pleasing selection of fantastic fare and cool cocktails, encounter animals up-close and support wildlife conservation at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s premier fundraiser, Riverbanks ZOOfari. The all-inclusive evening, hosted by Riverbanks Society, will take place on Friday, September 27, at 7:00pm.

Guests are invited to walk through the Zoo while sampling an array of specialty dishes and creative concoctions that represent select areas of the United States as well as other countries around the world. This year’s menu will feature Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, culinary classics from the South and Southwest, plus a few favorites inspired by the Low Country of South Carolina.

"ZOOfari offers guests an extraordinary opportunity to support the Zoo and Garden in an intimate, after-hours, safari-style setting,” said Lochlan Baskin, events manager at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Riverbanks contributes to numerous local, regional and international conservation programs; this event not only gives guests a taste of the Zoo’s mission, but also a chance to experience distinctive flavors from around the world.”

Scheduled animal feedings, presentations and up-close encounters will take place a various exhibits throughout the evening. Guests also are invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Riverbanks’ grizzly bear barn; guided tours of the area will be offered from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. In addition, Sky-High Safari, the Zoo’s 4-story ropes challenge course, will be open for guests interested in taking a nighttime climb.

ZOOfari 2013 will again feature a silent and live auction giving guests an opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items, from special behind-the-scenes tours to paintings and prints created by some of Riverbanks’ very talented residents. Highlights this year also include a chance to have breakfast with the Zoo’s western-lowland gorillas as well as a private, nighttime zip tour followed by dinner on the Zoo’s scenic Saluda River footbridge.

A limited number of tickets will be sold. Advance tickets are $50 for Riverbanks members and $60 for the general public. Admission will be $70 on the day of the event. Tickets may be purchased online at or at any Zoo and Garden ticket window. All proceeds will benefit ongoing wildlife conservation and education efforts at Riverbanks.

Riverbanks ZOOfari will take place rain or shine. Dress is safari casual. Low-heeled, closed-toe shoes are required to climb Sky-High Safari.