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Dickerson Park Zoo will host 100th birthday party on Saturday

A Dickerson Park Zoo resident wears a birthday party hat
Dickerson Park Zoo/Facebook
A Dickerson Park Zoo resident wears a birthday party hat

The zoo will be open from 9 to 5, but the party is set for 10 a.m. to noon.

Dickerson Park Zoo is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. And tomorrow (7/15) it’s holding a special event for the public.

The zoo will be open from 9 to 5, butthe birthday party will be from 10 to noon.

Zoo spokesperson Joey Powell says there will be booths, mascots from the Springfield Cardinals as well as Smoky the Bear and other activities for kids.

"You'll also be able to get your face painted if you choose," she said. "We're going to have magic shows, a bounce house — just all kinds of fun going on."

A ceremony at 11 will feature local and statewide elected officials. Admission to the zoo tomorrow is $12 for both kids and adults.

Powell said the animals will be given special birthday treats and enrichment items throughout the day, and zoo docents will be located across the grounds so visitors can get an up close look at critters.

She said anyone who purchases a Friends of the Zoo membership through December 2023 will receive a special gift in celebration of the 100th anniversary.

Powell said she's been thinking about how to celebrate the zoo's 100th birthday since she started her job seven years ago. One thing she's enjoyed the most about the planning process, she said, is learning the zoo's history.

"How incredibly far we've come in animal husbandry and what we've learned in the care and well-being of animals has just been an amazing highlight," Powell said.

Dickerson Park Zoo began as the City Zoo where Phelps Grove Park is now. In 1923, the zoo acquired 100 acres from the estate of Jerome Dickerson, and that became Dickerson Park Zoo.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.