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Check Out The Zoo’s Birthday Bash

Gregg Dancho, director of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, shares some history as the state’s only zoo celebrated 90 years on Saturday. From the zoo:

Zoo’s 90th Birthday Party to Feature Regional Great Cake Bake Off!

May 19 bakery battle to be judged by hometown celebrities,

the Twice Baked Twins

Birthday bash continues May 20 with Bridgeport Day at the Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is marking its 90th birthday with its wildest party ever on May 19, 2012 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Visitors can expect to enjoy music, entertainment, and of course, birthday cake! Eight regional bakeries are working feverishly to bake their wildest creations and will take part in a Great Cake Bake Off that will be judged by hometown celebrities, the Twice Baked Twins. Well-known and local favorite radio host, WICC’s Jim Buchanan, will serve as emcee for this fun filled celebration. The birthday party is free with paid admission to the Zoo and will take place rain or shine.

“We are so excited to celebrate our birthday with everyone and having eight cakes to choose from is every little kid’s dream come true,” shared Gregg Dancho, Zoo director. “My recommendation is: don’t come that day if you’re counting calories!”

Local bakeries facing off in the Great Cake Bake Off include Adam’s Bakery of Fairfield, Billy’s Bakery of Fairfield, Del Prete Italian Pastry of Bridgeport, DiSorbo’s Italian Bakery of Hamden, Dorazio Sisters Bakery of Newtown, Lucibello’s Italian Pastry Shop of New Haven, Luigi’s Italian Pastry & Wedding Cake Center of Bridgeport, and Stew Leonard’s of Danbury. Each bakery will create a three tiered, frosted, zoo and birthday themed cake to be judged on taste, look, and theme. Visitors may view the cakes in the Carousel building beginning at 10:00 am and the Twice Baked Twins will announce the winners at 1:00 pm. Guests may sample the cakes after 1:00 pm while supplies last. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best in Show, Best Zoo/Birthday theme, Best Looking, Best Frosting, Best Flavor, Best Cake Texture, People’s Choice, and Kid’s Choice.

The Twice Baked Twins, Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig of Trumbull and Monroe respectively, Connecticut, are identical twins who got their start by turning their love of baking into a delectable dessert business focusing on elaborate displays and presentation. They entered a Bobbly Flay contest called “Grill it with Bobby,” and the network loved them so much they invited them back to do a holiday special called, “Dear Food Network.” Enjoying television so much, they continued to earn a spot on Channel 3’s Better Connecticut, where they share classic recipes with a new twist, called the “Twice Baked 2 Minute Take.”

The birthday bash continues on Sunday, May 20 as the Zoo celebrates Bridgeport Day. All Bridgeport residents are invited to visit to the Zoo for a reduced admission fee of just $5 with proper I.D. WEBE 108 will be on site welcoming visitors who will have the chance to meet and greet with City officials, business and civic leaders, friends, and neighbors during a fun filled day for the whole family. Residents are welcome to spend the day visiting new animals at the zoo and enjoying the great outdoors. This event is presented in partnership with Mayor Bill Finch and the City of Bridgeport. The rain date is June 10.

In honor of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s 90th birthday, the Zoo kicks off the ’90 Days of Summer” beginning Memorial Day weekend and ending Labor Day weekend. A list of some of the summer promotions are featured below:

‘90 Days of Summer’ Promotions*

Memorial Day, May 28 – Labor Day, September 3, 2012:

Mondays: Roll Back Monday – all admission prices roll back to only $9!

Tuesdays: $1 carousel rides

Wednesdays: Receive half price admission if you were born in the 90s! MUST SHOW PROOF (Valid photo ID, birth certificate, passport, report card) Hint: If you were born in the 90s, you’d be 12-22 years old.

Thursdays: If it’s a scorcher (over 90 degrees Fahrenheit), receive one free child admission with one paying adult.

Fridays: Be the 90th guest and get in FREE and receive a special gift just for you!

*NOTE: These offers do NOT apply to groups. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or coupons.

Birthday Bonus! As a gift to all Zoo visitors, anyone who comes to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo on his or her birthday gets in free (Photo ID with birthday required. Valid through 12/31/12).

A complete calendar of events from mid-May through Labor Day may be found at

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is closer than you think and is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo celebrates its 90th birthday in 2012 and is closer than you think! Connecticut’s only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelots, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit