Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet

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There’s a party coming up that both you and Mother Nature will enjoy! Read on to learn more about the Cincinnati Zoo’s annual Party for the Planet and Rain Barrel Benefit Auction.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Sustainable Communities Advocate Sophia Cifuentes
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Sustainable Communities Advocate Sophia Cifuentes

This year marks the sixth annual Earth Day Celebration, known as Party for the Planet, at the Cincinnati Zoo. It’s during this event, and the Rain Barrel Benefit Auction, that eco-friendly businesses and organizations head to the Zoo to share their knowledge and resources about sustainable living with guests.

“It’s very informative and family-friendly with lots of hands-on activities such as planting seeds to take home, with most of the exhibitors lining our Swan Lake Bridge,” explains Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Sustainable Communities Advocate Sophia Cifuentes. “It’s a great way to learn more about what we can do right here in Cincinnati to have an impact on our environment and the conservation of wildlife. Every action we take locally has an impact globally.”

Party for the Planet is hosted by the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden alongside other Association for Zoos and Aquariums institutions across the country. The Rain Barrel Benefit Auction is a joint effort between the Zoo and Save Local Waters, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the environmental quality issues in the Ohio River Valley.

Cifuentes says as the “Greenest Zoo in America,” they’re always looking for ways to inspire guests to live more sustainably, more specifically when it comes to the conservation of natural resources.

“Many of our guests love to observe and engage with our animals and plants at the Zoo, and immediately become connected to them,” she explains. “They want to do something that will help these animals and their wild counterparts out.”

The Zoo wants to give guests the resources and opportunities they need to act locally while also having a global impact wildlife. “Everyone has the power to make a difference and reduce their own carbon footprint, which ultimately will have an affect on the rest of the planet,” adds Cifuentes. “Party for the Planet is a great way to celebrate those actions, and find out more information about what else we can be doing in our region.

The events will take place on Thursday, April 23 at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Party for the Planet is from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the Rain Barrel Benefit Auction is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to the two main events, there will also be Tunes and Blooms, a free concert that is held every Thursday in April. On the night of Party for the Planet, the Cliftones, a Cincinnati reggae band, will be performing.

“The Rain Barrel Benefit Auction is the third time the Zoo is hosting the auction in conjunction with Save Local Waters,” says Cifuentes. “This special event involves auctioning off 51 boring, brown rain barrels donated by MSD of Cincinnati that were turned into masterpieces by local artists. Proceeds from the barrels, which are a great way to conserve water and help reduce stormwater runoff, are shared between Save Local Waters and the Cincinnati Zoo to further their sustainability initiatives and environmental education.”

At the event, you can expect a lively, fun, energizing, engaging and inspiring atmosphere, according to Cifuentes. Live music will be playing in the Vine Street Village and all of the exhibitors for Party for the Planet will be lined up on the bridge and pathway that leads to the Go Green Garden. Cifuentes says that each exhibitor will have information, hands-on activities and giveaways to share. Guests are also welcomed to bid on their favorite barrel during the event. Cifuentes says that minimum bids start around $80 and winners are asked to pay for their barrel the night of.

“The Zoo will be open throughout the evening, so guests are welcome to wander around and enjoy the thousands of tulips in full bloom, animal exhibits and the various food and beverage carts open,” she adds. “Guests are also welcome to bring their own picnic baskets of goodies, just no glass or alcohol.”

The event is free with Zoo admission, and admission to the Zoo is free after 5 p.m. There is a $9 charge for parking.

To learn more about Party for the Planet and the Rain Barrel Benefit Auction, click visit the Cincinnati Zoo’s website, Save Local Waters, or check out the Zoo’s event’s page.