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Free Fridays Kick Off a New Year and New Chapter in Zoo History

For Immediate Release: January 2, 2014

Richland and Lexington County Residents Receive Free Entry in January and February

[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is kicking off its celebration of a milestone year and an exciting new chapter in Zoo history with the return of Free Fridays.

Beginning tomorrow, January 3, Riverbanks will once again offer complimentary admission to residents of Richland and Lexington counties every Friday during the months of January and February with proof of residency. (A valid ID or property tax statement will be accepted). All other guests will be charged regular admission.

"Free Fridays are a small token of the Zoo’s immense gratitude for the continued support provided by the residents of Richlandand Lexingtoncounties,” said Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. The offer is extended to residents of the two counties because Riverbanks is a special purpose district that supplements its operating budget with property taxes collected in both counties.

"And thanks to the recent approval of Richland and Lexington county councils, the Zoo will soon begin its largest expansion since 2002,” Krantz said. The $32-million project will include new animals, new exhibits, a children’s garden in the Botanical Garden, renovated dining and retail facilities, improved guest amenities and much more.

Also this year, Riverbanks will observe its 40th anniversary. The Zoo first opened its gates on Thursday, April 25, 1974. In addition to the return of Free Fridays, a number of wild activities are planned to commemorate this landmark occasion including a 40-day countdown to the big birthday beginning on Monday, March 17.

Stay up-to-date on events leading up to the Zoo’s anniversary and the latest "Hard Hat Happenings” at and on Riverbanks’ Facebook page at