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The Zoo Parties with Twilight Thursdays

Mania (formerly Because) playing at the Sacramento Zoo

There is something magical about Sacramento summer nights. The day can be scorching yet often the Delta breeze blows creating a renewed sense of energy and excitement for the evening hours. This magical effect is certainly not lost at the Sacramento Zoo, especially on Thursdays. Through July 31st the zoo stays open late to host Twilight Thursdays, evenings of live music, hot cars, cold drinks and exotic animals until 8 p.m.

Zoo visitors are not the only ones who enjoying the event; the performers delight in the family-friendly setting that may also include flamingos or lion roars trying to top their tunes. Returning by popular choice is Mania, a Beatles tribute band under a new name. On July 10, the band will perform its third year at the zoo. Jeremy O’Dell, who serves as the John Lennon of the band with lead guitar and vocals, shared his favorite part about being in a band, “Playing music for a live crowd and sharing the joy of the Beatles’ music.” Even though the band can be seen throughout Northern California, the band’s ideal venue is, “outside where people dance!” The zoo is just that place and playing amid European cars and the smell of tasty fish and chips, a true British Invasion will overtake the zoo.

Twilight Thursdays are included with regular zoo admission. Each week features live musicians, more than 40 cars and a dinner special culminating into a unique theme with something for everyone. Guests can bring their favorite outdoor seating from blankets to lawn chairs, along with picnic baskets and coolers. While outside alcohol is prohibited, cold beer, delicious wine and soft drinks are available for purchase on the lawn near the entertainment and at Kampala Café. Guests enjoy sitting or grooving in the shade of a Heritage Oak tree as some of Sacramento’s finest local bands perform. Some people, however, prefer to utilize the extended hours to walk the lush grounds and view the animals in their evening routines.

If you’re looking for a unique date, a family outing or a fun and relaxing night, make the magic of summer nights, the tunes, the cars, the animals and the fun of Twilight Thursdays part of your summer plans.

April Johnson in 2011 with Because (now Mania) in Abbey Road attire
April Johnson in 2011 with Because (now Mania) in Abbey Road attire
British and European Car Show
British and European Car Show
Music, cars and Dinner Specials atTwilight Thursdays
Music, Cars and Dinner Specials at Twilight Thursdays




About the author

April Mae Saenz Johnson

On a daily basis, I see animals from all over the world in one special place: the Sacramento Zoo. I am happy to share inside info, fun facts and photographs of the zoo's animals, staff and events.

In my personal life, I enjoy the sleepy, gross and amazing moments of motherhood, time with my husband and our labradoodle, with a bit of traveling, yoga and volunteering on the Leadership Team for Social Media Club Sacramento.

I am embarking on a new adventure as co-founder of Aging UP, a nonprofit empowering youth with experience in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood.

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