graphic - background all black, 43 annual gala, zoofari, louisville zoo, Friday, June 7, 2024

Zoofari Gala will be a Wild Night of “Red PANDAmonium” (Media Release)

Contact:  Kyle Shepherd
(O) 502-238-5331 (C) 502-744-5639  

Louisville Zoo’s premiere gala, Zoofari, coordinated and hosted by Friends of the Louisville Zoo Board, is a little less than one month away. Community leaders and Zoo advocates will come together at the Zoo on Friday, June 7, 2024 for an event as unique and special as the Zoo! This year’s “Red PANDAmonium” themed gala celebrates Sundara the red panda, one of the newest additions to the Louisville Zoo family.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our Friends board members who annually design and create a night of fanciful, whimsical fun and fundraising at the Zoo. We are fortunate to have so many in the community join us in honoring the work of our team and their commitment to species conservation and education,” said Zoo Director Dan Maloney.

Zoofari attracts over 400 attendees and tickets sell quickly! Guests will enjoy creative cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent auction, a performance by River Lotus Lion Dance, a bourbon pull and more. Guests attending the full event program also experience exclusive animal encounters, a cocktail reception, live auction, a three-course meal and — for this year only — select lanterns from the Wild Lights lantern festival.

Partygoers are encouraged to get black-tie creative to fit the “Red PANDAmonium” event theme. Of course, when in doubt, animal print or floral dresses, tuxes and ties are always a good choice. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended, as this event encompasses several areas within the Zoo.

The event will raise funds to support the renovation of the MetaZoo Discovery Center and Animal Ambassador Program. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have shared compelling experiences over the years at the Zoo that introduce or enhance their connection to animals and the planet. The renovated space will help foster better appreciation and understanding for the creatures with whom we share our yards, neighborhoods and parks. The project is essential in the continued cultivation of curiosity, critical-thinking, empathy and the promotion of responsible environmental stewardship.

Zoofari will begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. A late-night ticket option is also available with entry at 8:30 p.m. Visit for tickets. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.


About Friends of the Louisville Zoo

Established in 1969, the Friends of the Louisville Zoo is a 100% volunteer-led 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides funding to help support the enhancement and expansion of the Louisville Zoo’s world-class exhibits, conservation education and animal encounters. The organization comprises more than 40 civic volunteers and hosts fundraising events throughout the year, including Zoofari! and Brew at the Zoo.


About the Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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