Nice weather brings big crowd to Holiday Magic

Huge influx of cars begins about 3 p.m. on Dec. 28

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By Bob Uphues


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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Kristine Neumann from Crest Hill, Illinois  

Posted: January 15th, 2014 4:02 PM

I was in that mess too but I wasn't going to the zoo. I was traveling North on First Ave. I had to get off after being stuck in that traffic mess for 45 minutes. They needed police to do traffic control.

Carlos Carrillo from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: January 15th, 2014 7:54 AM

I went to the zoo with my son around 5:0opm on Saturday, Dec 28. We live in North Riverside. It took almost an hour just to get into the parking lot and another 1/2 hour to find a parking spot. In my opinion, it was not safe to pack so many vehicles into the lot. Cars were park in all sorts of "no parking" zones. Zoo employees closed driveways to create extra parking spaces. I do not believe that the zoo had much concern for public safety by creating such a parking mess.

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