Mill Mountain Zoo celebrates 70th birthday with a community Zoobilee

There will be a bouncy castle and carnival games all day on July 9 at the zoo

Zoo staff talk about the new things coming to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke.

ROANOKE, Va. – You can spend your Saturday hanging out with some wild animals at the Mill Mountain Zoo to help them celebrate their 70th birthday.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 9, the zoo will be throwing a giant birthday party to celebrate.

There will be a bouncy castle and carnival games all day at the zoo, and everyone who comes to the celebration can enjoy a piece of free birthday cake from Bali’s bistro.

A magician will be doing performances and Delicia’s gourmet ice will be selling their sweet treats, too. The first 150 people through the gate will get a pass for a free ice sample.

Niki Voudren, Executive Director at Mill Mountain Zoo said she is excited to celebrate this huge milestone and continue the zoo’s mission of helping animals and providing them with the best care.

“Platinum Zoobilee is the celebration of our 70-year anniversary as this beautiful iconic mountain top zoo,” Voudren said. “It is a very kid-friendly event. We will have ice cream, free birthday cake, games, all kinds of crafts, and lots of fun, keeper chats. All the fun things you would expect at a kid’s event.”

If you are looking for a more “adult” way to celebrate this big birthday, the Mill Mountain Zoo will be hosting Zoo Doo: a night with local food vendors, wine, and unique surprises.

These celebrations also come with some upgrades to the zoo.

Over the last few months, the zoo staff has been painting all the buildings to match their new color and brand. They are softening the color scheme to blend in more.

The staff is also gearing up to renovate the reptile and python house, which is expected to be complete in the fall.

Also in the fall, the Mill Moutain Zoo is launching a new playground in partnership with Carillion Children’s Hospital, which will be called Carillion Children’s Curiosity Corner.

Emily Moore, an Education Associate said everyone at the zoo is happy about the upcoming changes.

“We are a small zoo so it is really nice to see all these things we have been wanting to happen for so long starting to get going,” Moore said. “It is just really exciting because we all really love the zoo so much and we want to see that progress happen.”

Not only that, but the zoo is also completing a fun new addition, the Zoo Choo!

The Zoo Choo! has been painted, the engine has been installed, and the brakes and hydraulics have been replaced, but the zoo staff said they still have some work to do on the tracks and the tunnel.

About the Author:

Brittany Wier joined the 10 News team as the morning reporter in August 2021.