RI Zoo Sees Record-Breaking Attendance In 2021

·1 min read

PROVIDENCE, RI — Despite ongoing pandemic struggles, the Roger Williams Park Zoo saw record-breaking attendance in 2021, welcoming nearly 835,000 visitors over the course of the year.

In total, there were 834,960 visitors, the zoo said, a 23.5 increase from 2019's pre-pandemic numbers and the highest on record since they started keeping track. That makes the zoo the most visited attraction in the state.

The high attendance was particularly noteworthy, zoo staff said, due to reduced field trips and other programming like scouts and camps thanks to the pandemic.

The extremely popular Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular also saw record-breaking attendance, with 168,850 tickets sold. That's 20 percent higher than the previous record, set in 2015. The high attendance was credited to favorable weather, the opportunity for families to enjoy a pandemic-safe outdoor activity, and "a return to an event that is an annual tradition in New England."

"After the challenges we faced with covid in 2020, we were optimistic but cautious; we didn't know what to expect in 2021," said Ron Patalano, the zoo's interim executive director. "And as we celebrate our 150th birthday this year, it's heart-warming to know the Roger Williams Park Zoo is recognized as a valuable community asset in New England. We will continue to engage and inspire our guests to pursue our mission of conserving wildlife and wild places for years to come."

Along with in-person visitors, the zoo saw a rise in digital traffic, as well. The website saw more than one million visits, while Facebook likes grew by 12.6 percent and Instagram followers increased by 41 percent.

This article originally appeared on the Cranston Patch

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting