Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium announcement.
“We’re committed to being welcoming and inclusive places of connection for everyone in our community,” said Alan Varsik, director of Point Defiance Zoo and Northwest Trek. “We’re delighted to celebrate and honor our LGBTQ+ community with a weekend full of rainbow-themed fun.”
Animals at Point Defiance Zoo will enjoy rainbow-themed enrichment like food treats, rainbow popsicles, and heart-shaped bamboo. And don’t miss the goats in rainbow bandanas!
All guests are invited to march in the zoo’s second annual Animal Pride Parade. Led by animals from Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater and Kids’ Zone (accompanied by their keepers), the Pride Parade will leave from the Wild Wonders stage at 1:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, winding through the pathways up to Pacific Rim Plaza. Guests can create their own Pride flags in the Pacific Rim Plaza to carry in the parade.
At Northwest Trek, animal enrichments will include rainbow paper chains and rainbow ice treats. Animal exhibits will each be themed to different Pride flags representing different sectors of the LGBTQ+ community (traditional rainbow flag, transgender flag, bisexual flag, etc.). Guests can color their own Pride flags to take home.
Varsik said both zoos will fly Pride flags at their front entrances throughout June and July in recognition of National Pride Month and Tacoma Pride Month.
In addition to the Pride events, both zoos are listed as “Points of Pride” through the Rainbow Center as part of Tacoma Pride Festival on July 9.
“We are excited for a second year of partnership with Point Defiance Zoo and Northwest Trek,” said Rainbow Center Director Troy Christensen. “Last year was a great way to start, while much of the Tacoma Pride celebration was virtual. This year, we are back in person, and anticipate an even greater partnership. We thank these important organizations for the work they do year-round and the work they are doing for this year’s Pride celebrations.”
“Thank you to Point Defiance Zoo and Northwest Trek for making meaningful and strong connections in the community,” wrote a spokesperson for the Oasis Youth Center. “It is vital that LGBTQ+ youth are not only welcomed to a space but celebrated.”
Tickets to the two zoos’ Pride celebration events are on sale now and advance online purchases are strongly encouraged. Both events are free with admission or memberships.