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'IT'S A WONDERFUL PARK' AT THE FIFTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

 SAN DIEGO, Nov. 24 ~PRNewswire~ -- Young and old alike can light up their holiday nights with a variety of animals, storytelling under the stars, and snow -- as 100,000 illuminating lights decorate Nairobi Village during the Wild Animal Park's fifth annual Festival of Lights.
 This magical holiday event envelopes the season in an animal theme and promises fun for everyone. Children are invited to transform into a cheetah with the art of face painting, talk with Santa Claus next to a sculpture of a gorilla and her baby, and walk among colorful, wooden animals at the park's wooden ark. They can also apply their artistic talents and conservation efforts to the creation of a holiday gift card which will go to the care of their favorite endangered animal.
 Children can romp and stomp in hills of fresh snow -- brought in especially for their chilling pleasure -- next to the Hummingbird Pavilion, then decorate a cookie at the Cookie Kitchen. Nocturnal behaviors of wild park inhabitants can be viewed on a cool nighttime monorail ride.
 Nairobi Village will be alive with the sights of wildlife as trainers from the Rare and Wild America show display a variety of animals including: North American cats,, an opossum, a thick-billed parrot, a fox and a beaver. Additionally, exotic birds and their trainers will be strolling around the Clocktower Plaza each evening.
 Visitors can stroll through the enchanted Nairobi Village where musicians will fill the air with holiday songs. Decorated pine trees will adorn the walkways, as will the glitter of 100,000 lights strung through the trees, atop buildings and around spectacular animal- shaped silhouettes. Children will be delighted by storytellers presenting an animal-related holiday tale conceived especially for the Festival of Lights.
 Couples beware. An opossum holding a sprig of mistletoe can be found "hanging around" Nairobi Village under the park's evening stars to help enhance an enchanting evening and stir up a little holiday romance.
 A bright red model Christmas tree village, coordinated with the San Diego Model Railroad Museum and Gladys' Toys and Trains will chug through the enchanted village at the Mombasa Pavilion. An informational scavenger hunt for children 10 to 12 years will be organized to familiarize them with the various animals and attractions in the village area.
 The joy of giving, so much a part of the holidays, will be celebrated in two ways at the Festival of Lights. Guests are encouraged to bring canned food to the event, for distribution to needy area families. Wrapped toys will be collected and passed along in similar fashion -- gift-givers are encouraged to label the gift as suitable for girl or boy, and recommended age of recipient.
 The Festival of Lights runs nightly Dec. 11 to 30 except Dec. 24 and 25. Special reduced admission prices -- $5.95 for adults, $2.50 for children 3 to 15 years -- will be in effect between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. each day. Park visitors are welcome to enjoy the festivities until 9 p.m. Those visiting the Wild Animal Park during its normal operating hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., are welcome to remain for the Festival of Lights at no extra charge. Zoological Society members are free. Everyone should dress warmly to venture forth on a nighttime monorail ride and especially children, if they plan to frolic in the snow.
 For more information, call the Wild Animal Park's event hotline, 619-747-8702, extension 5140.
 -0- 11~24~92
 ~CONTACT: Tom Hanscom or Kim Knouse of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, 619-738-5065~


CO: San Diego Wild Animal Park ST: California IN: LEI SU:

MS-BP -- SD003 -- 1302 11~24~92 18:29 EST
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Date:Nov 24, 1992
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