Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic event is always a big draw, but the crowds really came out on Saturday, Dec. 28 when temperatures reached 51 degrees.

According to Brookfield Zoo spokeswoman Sondra Katzen, 27,298 people visited the zoo during the daytime hours, with a sizeable chunk of those coming around 3 p.m. for the beginning of Holiday Magic. After 4 p.m. another 17,325 arrived, with the quick influx of cars jamming roads leading to the main zoo parking lot.

Katzen said that the zoo had planned for greater-than-normal attendance that night due to the weather forecast. In addition to the entire zoo police force, said Katzen, park safety officers were also on hand to help direct crowds.

“Obviously there was a big influx of cars all at one time, so there was more waiting than normal,” Katzen said.

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