ORLANDO, Fla. (January 15, 2024) — The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens always aims to ignite a passion in guests so they will act on behalf of wildlife—but on February 10, the Zoo is making it even easier for guests to make a difference.
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation (OCIC) is celebrating the third annual Indigo Bluegrass BBQ—and all new this year, the event will be held at the Zoo in Sanford.
The event will run during Zoo opening hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is included for the Zoo’s Annual Passholders and is $24.95 for adults, $20.95 for seniors and $18.95 for children 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger are free.
The Indigo Bluegrass BBQ will allow guests to enjoy a day at the Zoo along with the sounds of popular bluegrass bands. It coincides with I 🖤 Indigo Day, a conservation awareness celebration, so guests can also learn fascinating information about the Eastern indigo snake and the OCIC’s mission during talks by OCIC staff.
A delicious selection of barbecue favorites will also be available for purchase around the Zoo, including a pulled chicken sandwich or jackfruit sandwich, beans, coleslaw, Mexican corn, chips, fried green tomatoes, mac and cheese and more. Guests can give back—and maybe win—with a fun raffle.
Proceeds from the event support the OCIC’s mission to breed and re-introduce the Eastern indigo snake—a threatened species native to the longleaf pine ecosystems of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida that has been affected by habitat loss. The OCIC also works to reintroduce the striped newt.
“This year’s event is bigger and better than ever before,” said Dr. James Bogan, the director of the OCIC. “With the event at the Zoo, guests not only learn about the eastern indigo snake, but they also have access to the park for a great day of food, music and company. We couldn’t do the work we do to save this amazing species without this support.”
The OCIC is the only captive breeding facility for the Eastern indigo snake with the sole purpose of releasing the offspring into regions where the population has been extirpated. Working with partners, the group has released more than 300 snakes to date at The Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in Bristol and Alabama’s Conecuh National Forest.
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens shares that mission for conservation, creating connections that inspire people to take action for wildlife.
For more information about the Indigo Bluegrass BBQ and to purchase tickets, click here.