WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Wednesday, Dec. 21, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. welcomed the Vickers family from Bloomfield as the 755,240th visitors to Turtle Back Zoo during 2016. This breaks the annual attendance record set last year and is the 12th consecutive year that a new annual attendance record has been established.
“We have made tremendous improvements to Turtle Back Zoo and the large turnout of visitors each year shows how popular our zoo has become,” DiVincenzo said. “We would not be here without the continuing support of our loyal visitors, sponsors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to seeing everyone next year for even more adventures, excitement and family fun.”
Shortly before 6:30 p.m., Larisa Vickers, her two daughters, Sophia, 2 and a half years old, and Christina, 9 months old, and her mother, Nadya Ziboreva, arrived to view the Holiday Lights Spectacular and helped Turtle Back Zoo reach a new attendance milestone.
“We come to the zoo a few times a year. My children are still young and the zoo is the right size for them,” Larisa Vickers said. “We came to enjoy the holiday lights, but this is an amazing surprise.”
In recognition of the milestone, DiVincenzo presented the Vickers family with a gift basket filled with toys, stuffed animals and merchandise from Turtle Back Zoo, along with a one-year membership to the Zoological Society.
The previous attendance record, set in 2015, was 755,239. A new annual attendance record has been set every year since 2005. The 500,000 milestone was first reached in 2010, 600,000 was first reached in 2013 and 700,000 was first reached in 2015.