Zooloween Boo event returns

Kelly Hueckman, Staff Writer

Kyle Jahnke / Advance-Titan
Pictured above is Cade Larson, age 3, and from Neenah enjoying some cotton candy, all dressed-up.

Children and adults of all ages lined the pathways of Menominee Park Zoo on Oct. 16 for the park’s annual “Zooloween Boo,” an event focusing on fundraising for the park and getting locals in the Halloween spirit.

Clad in their best costumes, attendees of the event could be found playing yard games, doing craft projects and waiting in line to trick-or-treat with local businesses and organizations.

Kyle Jahnke / Advance-Titan
Alexis and Axel, 24 and 1, Oshkosh

Just finishing up the 19th year, the Zooloween Boo started in 2003 to offer families a fun and safe environment to trick-or-treat while connecting with other community members.

Jen McCollian, the revenue faculties manager with the Oshkosh Parks Department, said the event would “never be able to run without the amazing support of the Oshkosh area community and surrounding areas.”

This year, 37 local businesses and organizations volunteered to set up trick-or-treat stations around the park, 25 of them gave monetary donations and there were 26 who ran events and crafts at the Zooloween Boo.

One veteran volunteer, who goes by the character name of Rosie, reminisced on her years of volunteering, of which she says are “too many to count.”
Rosie dressed herself in a vibrantly colored clown suit as she welcomed children to the Zooloween Boo with Halloween-themed jokes.
“Where do vampires deposit their money?” Rosie had asked one bright-eyed witch. “A blood bank!”

While the Zooloween Boo proved to be a day filled with costume contests, candy and community, the Menominee Park Zoo also used the event as a way to raise funds for future projects.

McCollian says that the funds raised at the event go toward future events held at the park as well as future exhibits that “will, in turn, benefit the community.”

The Menominee Park Zoo also continued to showcase their master upgrade plans, which have been in the works since late 2014.

Kyle Jahnke / Advance-Titan
August, 2, Rosendale

The Menominee Park Zoo Master Plan said that the upgrades objectives are “expanding the quality and quantity of animal exhibits, creating education space and programs, promoting conservation,” as well as reducing the carbon footprint left by the park zoo.

Some phases of the upgrade plan include a welcome center building and service building to create a safer and more welcoming environment for visitors.

The phases also include a plan to add new animals with aquarium, glacial plains and north highland exhibits.

The Menominee Park Zoo currently offers four permanent exhibits: the wolf, elk, eagle and otter exhibits, which are available to visitors during the park’s seasonal hours.