"Noon Year's Eve" canceled at ZooMontana due to cold temps and COVID concerns

BILLINGS, Mont. - Noon Year's Eve, a New Year's Eve party for kids at ZooMontana, is canceled this year due to the cold weather and COVID concerns.

"What we are most worried about is after the event, that giant crowd is going to want to move inside," Zoo Director Jeff Ewelt said. "And we're a little nervous to have that many people together indoors right now. We don't feel like it's the safest thing, so we're going to go ahead and cancel that event."

Ewelt said the event had a virtual component last year. He is considering still doing the virtual component this year.

The cold temps also caused the zoo to close on Monday, Dec. 27 to protect the workers. Although, Ewelt said many of the animals enjoy the cold weather.

"What amazes us is when it's negative ten outside, we'll go down to the otter habitat and we'll see the otters swimming," he said.

"The otters love it," he added. "And, again, they're built for it."

Ewelt also announced a new event is coming next winter.

"Next year, ZooMontana will welcome in Holiday Nights, a Holiday Lighting Experience that will enhance the joy and beauty of the season," Ewelt said. "Running from November 25th through January 1st, guests will be dazzled by over 30 million lights within the Zoo plaza."

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