With one week before Dallas Zoo Lights presented by Reliant opens to the public, workers were busy with finishing touches on Friday morning.
"You got to have patience," Rey Lopez said as he carefully strung lights on a tree in the zoo's backlot. "Make the trees look good and get in the Christmas spirit, ya know?"
The zoo reimagined its holiday lights display when it was clear the pandemic would still be a factor.
"We had a lightbulb moment back in early September," Dallas Zoo COO Sean Greene said. "We're going to take people through areas of the park they haven't been in 10 years, and for many people, they've never seen before."
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The zoo will open its backlot for the Dallas Zoo Lights, a 1 1/4 mile drive through lighted theme displays and twinkling lights.
"So there is a novelty of just driving through the zoo to say, 'I've done it once or twice,;" Greene said. "Because we may never be here again."
The zoo will limit the number of cars to about 600 per night. Greene said the money would help offset the past few months in which the non-profit zoo was either closed due to the pandemic or limiting the number of guests allowed on the property at one time.
"For everything that we've been through, the community has been through, this is a real opportunity for us to give hope to do this in a safe way," Greene said. "Who knows? You might see something similar, or a hybrid version of this Zoo Lights experience next year."
Dallas Zoo Lights will open to the public Nov. 20 and run through Jan. 3. The cost is $65 per car ($50 for Dallas Zoo members). Reservations are required. Click here for more information.