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Oregon Zoo will be allowed to host drive-thru ZooLights

Zoos are closed during the statewide freeze, but the Oregon Zoo said it will be allowed to host drive-thru ZooLights.
Credit: Oregon Zoo
Visitors drive through ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Michael Durham

PORTLAND, Ore — While zoos in Oregon are closed under Gov. Kate Brown's statewide freeze, which will last until at least Dec. 16 in Multnomah County, the Oregon Zoo is still offering people an option to escape from their homes and safely take part in its annual holiday tradition. 

Officials on Wednesday said they received further guidance from the governor's office that will allow the Oregon Zoo to host a drive-thru for this year's ZooLights.

“Everything’s been a little different in 2020, and ZooLights is no exception,” zoo events manager Nikki Simmons said. “Like most of this community, our biggest concern right now is protecting everyone’s health and safety. We’re just thankful we could come up with a good way for the community to enjoy this holiday tradition."

This year's ZooLights will feature more than 1.5 million brightly colored lights to celebrate the holiday season. The drive-thru experience will be open beginning Sunday, Nov. 22.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, on the Oregon Zoo's website. Tickets must be purchased in advance. They will only be available up to one week in advance of the visit date.

Drive-thru guests won't have to wear masks inside their vehicles, but masks will be required during check-in and other interactions with zoo staff. 

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