Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo
Visitors to the Palm Beach Zoo arriving for the Roar & Pour event. Photo: Pedro Penalver, WPB Magazine

I’ve always felt intrigued at what a zoo is like after dark; so last Saturday I attended the popular Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo for the first time. Scheduled to be take place between 4:30pm to 9pm, it was already packed when I arrived a little after 5pm.

If you are used to go to the Palm Beach Zoo, you know you’ll regularly find adults, adults with children, couples, children from schools on a field trip outing. On this occasion, it was mostly families which is a very good idea to have a day during the month when families can come together to an activity that can be both recreational and educational at same time. Visiting a zoo offers so many incredible learning opportunities. While having a fun day exploring, kids will develop valuable skills and obtain priceless knowledge. It also brings families and friends together, and encourages a healthy lifestyle.

The wide open fountain plaza at Palm Beach Zoo is where the main entertainment act happened, and this time they had booked The Petty Hearts, a national touring Tom Petty tribute band based in Fort Lauderdale that celebrates the life and musical legacy of Tom Petty’s amazing 40-year career in rock and roll. The fountain plaza was turned into an arena-style concert venue where attendees rolled out blankets and low-rise lawn chairs to sit on. There were market tents around the plaza to purchase hot dogs, pop corns, sodas, and beers.

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One of the things that pleased me the most was to find a local brewery catering tap beer during the event, Mathews Brewing Co. I tried their “cream ale”—as I don’t usually drink much—and I could feel the sweetness of this light bodied ale and at the same time the flavoring and stability of its hops.

Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo
Lining up to buy a refreshing ale from Mathews Brewing Co. Photo: Pedro Penalver, WPB Magazine

The music was slated for 7:30pm; allowing time for visitors to enjoy the main draw of the event, roaming around the zoo to have an incredible experience seeing amazing animals. One of my favorite moments was witnessing the wonder and amazement of the eyes of kids I came across as they saw the animals! And guess what, after many visits to the PB Zoo, this was the closest I’ve ever been to Marty the white alligator.

Marty, who has has a rare genetic mutation called leucism, got this cool home with underwater views about two years ago and has been at the zoo since 2007.

Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo
Marty in his house. Photo: Pedro Penalver, WPB Magazine

Exploring the zoo after hours was fun and I think animals were easier to spot as the afternoon waned. Zoo staffs were spotted around the facility with different animals, talking to guests that had questions about their animals.

The Aldabra Tortoise yard exhibit was impressive. These tortoises –one of the largest in the world– are from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles and it must be a remarkable experience to feed them and bathe them one day; something possible at the zoo on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Most of the animals were easy to spot—bears, tiger, monkeys, otters, and peacocks were fun to see. But the rhinoceros hornbills stole the show.

These near threatened birds (the population keeps decreasing from logging, and from poaching) have prominent golden-yellow horns, black feathers on their wings and body and white tail feathers. Beautiful animals to see and learn from! Males have red eyes, females have blue eyes. They are a primary seed dispenser in the forests like Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and the Malay Peninsula due to the large amount of fruits they consume. The rhinoceros hornbills face a number of threats, including loss of their rainforest habitat, as well as hunting for their meat, skulls and feathers.

After a long walk around the zoo, a stop at the Tropics Cafe was a blessing. They had burgers, hot dogs, sauteed onions and corn on cob. I ordered a BBQ pork sandwich with cheese that got me ready to sit back and enjoy more than one hour of good music by The Petty Hearts at the fountain plaza.

The Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo was a real fun activity. This summer attraction at the zoo happens every 4th Saturday of the Month, May through August. Next on the lineup is “Forever Styx & Chain Reaction,” July 28th, and “Green Rivers,” August 25th.

If you want to spend a beautiful summer evening with the entire family listening to live music and looking at all the fabulous animal exhibits, visit palmbeachzoo.org where they have information about these events.

Visiting PB Zoo offers so many incredible learning opportunities, and fun activities. The Roar & Pour event at Palm Beach Zoo is a great family attraction.