PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Some local kids got to trick-or-treat on the wild side this Halloweekend.
Costumed kids followed a path filled with candy and creatures at Zoo World’s annual “Zoo Boo” trick-or-treat trail.
Around 30 local vendors set up along the path to give out candy and promote their business.
Zoo World Director Kayte Hogan said this event is one of the biggest of the year for the zoo and her personal favorite.
“Zoo Boo is my favorite event,” Hogan said. “It’s all about community involvement and fun. So we have over 30 sponsors from local community businesses who have come out to provide candy for all of our local kids. And then the kids get to come out. They have a safe, fun trick-or-treat at the zoo, which you cannot beat trick-or-treating at the zoo.”
Beyond just candy and vendors, the trail also boasts educational stops along the way.
“We have our resident bug expert who has a bug table set up and the kids can see the millipedes, they can hold the millipedes,” Hogan said. “They’ve met a couple of tarantulas as well. So a lot of really fun, spooky Halloween bugs to touch. And we have some live animal photo ops. Percy, our great horned owl, has been out meeting guests all day long, and he is probably one of the most popular things that’s been going on at the zoo.”
Some trick-or-treaters loved being able to get hands-on with the bugs.
“They were really cool and I got to hold them and just like being here to trick-or-treat,” Alexis Wilson said. “We haven’t really known we could do this until this year so it was really fun to come over.”
Hogan said this year looks to be the biggest turnout yet “Zoo Boo” has had yet.
“The reason “Zoo Boo” is so important to Zoo World is because it’s where we get our funds for our next big project,” Hogan said. “So “Zoo Boo” has built a lion exhibit. It’s built a new Madagascar exhibit. And this year we’re really hoping to build our sloth forest so hopefully, you’ll see construction start on that one pretty soon.”
She anticipates construction should start before the end of the year.