ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 7 - November

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 163

photography by reuters One hundred thousand lights twinkled across the Friday night sky as Chicagoans gathered at the Lincoln Park Zoo on November 24, 1995, for the premiere of its newest holiday event, ZooLights. "Generally people tend to think of the zoo as a summertime activity," says Lincoln Park Zoo Director of Sales and Events Dana Jussaume of the holiday attraction. "[ZooLights] was a great way to reach out to the community in the winter and say, 'Hey, we're still here.'" Throughout the past two decades, that message has been heard loud and clear, with ZooLights drawing an average crowd of 363,136 over the last three years. "It's a wonderful tradition," says Jussaume—and for some visitors, a trip to ZooLights is the ultimate romantic setting. "We actually had one couple who got engaged at ZooLights 10 years ago, then came back and celebrated their 10-year anniversary." Proposals have become so frequent (with Jussaume estimating at least 20 engagements last year alone) that the zoo team created a lighted "Will You Marry Me?" sign in 2013 for couples. Over the years, ZooLights has grown into a beloved citywide spectacle, fea- turing more than two million lights shaped into holiday- and animal-inspired displays, along with additions like a musical light show and an ice rink that launched in 2013. "We buy from overseas and elsewhere to keep us on the cut- ting edge," says Jussaume. After witnessing 14 seasons of ZooLights (back when the program drew 40,000 people), Jussaume is eagerly anticipating the start of this year's festivities and, of course, the addition of even more lights, including a f lying f lamingo display near the East Gate. "It's practically per- fect," muses Jussaume on the event. The most meaningful gifts often are. MA Winter Wonderland The LincoLn Park Zoo ceLebraTes 20 years of iLLuminaTing The hoLiday season wiTh ZooLighTs. by annie bruce Visitors to the Lincoln Park Zoo enter an enchanted landscape during the annual ZooLights display. 10 FRONT RUNNER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of ML - Michigan Avenue - 2014 - Issue 7 - November