ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Zoo in partnership with H-E-B Helping Here is celebrating National Armed Forces Day by honoring active, retired and veteran military members from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 15 at the Abilene Zoo, 2070 Zoo Lane.
According to Jennifer Pacheco, Abilene Zoo marketing coordinator, military personnel and their families will receive free admission to the zoo with proof of active service, retired or veteran status.
Proof of service will be requested and can be military identification, dog tags or anything that proves the person served in the military or is on active duty.
“H-E-B is going to be serving lunch, Blue Bell will be passing out ice cream and we’ll have snacks,” Pacheco said. “This is something we’ve done for a while and we are excited to bring it back again.”
An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m. featuring a color guard, singing of the National Anthem and personnel from Dyess Air Force Base.
Zoo visitors can bring lunch, snacks or drinks and have a picnic at the zoo.
“We ask no glass bottles and no plastic straws for the safety of our animals,” Pacheco said. “No alcohol, but otherwise they can bring what they want and enjoy the day. “
The zoo will have live music from local artists and animal experiences throughout the day.
“They’ll be a band playing all day and we’ll also have three different animal experiences,” Pacheco said. “Especially for our awesome people that have served our country.”
The animal experiences are scheduled as follows:
- 10 a.m. – Flamingo feeding. Spectators can learn about the Caribbean flamingo and have the opportunity to feed the flamingos.
- Noon – Giraffe keeper chat.
- 2 p.m. – First Albert the Alligator keeper chat of the season. Spectators will have the opportunity to feed the alligator.