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Twilight Top Ten

Tickets for Twilight at the Zoo presented by Medical Mutual are on sale now, but preparations for the Zoo Society's biggest party of the year started long ago.

Here are 10 things you may not know about the wildest party of the summer!

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1. Twilight is Cleveland's largest fundraiser, with more than 7,500 people attending every year.

2. It takes 10 months to plan Twilight at the Zoo presented by Medical Mutual. Almost immediately after the party ends in August, the Zoo Society's Special Events Manager Rachael Fuller begins to book bands for the following year. Some of Cleveland's hottest party bands donate their time and talent each year for the fundraiser.

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3. Joe Bell & The Swing Lizards and Armstrong Bearcat have both played at every Twilight. Look for Joe Bell's mix of blues, swing and jazz near Monkey Island. Armstrong Bearcat's classic rock and blues is a crowd favorite.

4. Twilight is 24 years old this year! The original name for the event was Howl at the Moon.

5. Medical Mutual has been the party sponsor for the past three years.

6. New this year is Club Twilight! Party Pana from 96.5 KISS FM will be DJing at our first Club Twilight. Find the party by the Zoo's new 4-D Theater.

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7. As the nonprofit partner for the Zoo, the Zoo Society is committed to raising awareness of and philanthropic support for the Zoo. Twilight at the Zoo, ZippityZooDoo and the Zoo Society's other ticketed events raise more than $1 million each year to support this mission.

8. Actual party set up begins two days before Twilight. Lighting and sound production company Vertical Sound works during the evening to place speakers and lights. Stages - 18 of them! - are constructed on Thursday. Unlike many event locations, set up has to take place when guests (and animals) are on Zoo grounds, so Fuller and Zoo staff work closely together on coordination and scheduling.

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9. When you attend Twilight at the Zoo presented by Medical Mutual, pay special attention to the lighting. Vertical Sound works to create a party atmosphere for 18 bands and over the Zoo's more than 180 acres. One of the best spots to take in the sights is under the Fulton Bridge, which is sure to be lit in an innovative and colorful way.

10. It's become somewhat of a Twilight tradition for many partygoers to end their night in the Savanna Theater with '80s cover band Disco Inferno.

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Mark your calendar now for Twilight at the Zoo on Friday, August 4, and buy tickets!

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