An 8-foot tall gorilla, a turtle and snake are among the many new light sculptures that have made an appearance at the zoo lights at Zootah.

Opening day of Zootah’s monthlong festivities was Nov. 30, and the number of visitors has doubled since last year.

“It keeps getting better and better,” said Troy Cooper, the director of Zootah. “Since we started officially doing Zoo Lights three years ago, we have seen it grow so much.”

Santa and one of his reindeer will be at the Zoo Lights every Friday and Saturday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 23. On Tuesdays Santa does not make an appearance but the handmade light sculptures and animal exhibits are still on display from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Laura Vanderbeek, the Zoo Lights coordinator, designs the light sculptures herself and began setting up lights back in October to prepare for this event.

“Zoo Lights has a nice hometown feel,” Cooper said. “It is an event for the community, in the community. I have heard more than one comment already this year that going to Zoo Lights is becoming a family tradition.”

There are special discounts every night of Zoo Lights which offers half price or even free admission, from law enforcement night to education night. Details are on the Zootah Facebook page.

“I’d bring people into the Wildlife Learning Center,” said Madison Mumford, the education specialist at Zootah. “There are so many animals in here that aren’t normally on display which makes it so exciting.”

The center is lined with different exhibits, including a new 12-foot albino Burmese python named Sunshine, poison dart frogs and sugar gliders.

“It is a special event because it is perfect for families, it is right in town and it mixes two wonderful things, Christmas and animals,” Mumford said.

Cooper said a big reason the events and exhibits have been growing so much in the last couple years is because of the sponsors, which include Kartchner Homes, Bridgerland Animal Hospital, Keystone Wealth Advisors, Anderson’s Seed and Garden, Hyrum Tire and Ducworks.

Admission is $7 for 12 years and older, $6 for children 2-11 years old and children under 2 are free.

Zoo Lights at Zootah is located at 419 W. 700 South, Logan, Utah.

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