Blair Drummond hosts "Dreamnight" 2017
Blair Drummond would like to thank everyone who came along to our "Dreamnight" on June 2nd - it was an amazing, gloriously sunny night!
“Dreamnight at the zoo” is a global event in which zoos and aquariums open their doors for one night only to terminally ill or disabled children and their families, as well as those facing life-long conditions. The evening is completely free of charge with the intention of giving families a more personal and friendly evening at the zoo – a VIP evening, just for them! The idea started in 1996 with just one zoo - to date 281 partners in 29 countries join in this event every year!
Education Officer, Katie Macfarlane, who organised the event said:
“Hosting an event such as this was our absolute pleasure. We are aware that having a child or family member facing a life-long condition can make it a bit harder to visit busy attractions such as the Safari Park. Daily activities a lot of us take for granted can present more of a challenge. The aim of this evening was to give guests a more relaxed, personal experience – we all need a bit of fun once in a while, and we were happy to provide it!”
The ticketed event ran after hours with a host of amazing special guests and animal related fun. Free toys were handed out and everyone was having their face painted, enjoying a free ice cream, all courtesy of the Safari Park. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service brought their fire engine and Ochills Scottish Mountain Rescue brought along their rescue vehicles. The families loved getting the chance to see inside these vehicles and try on the relevant uniforms. Forth Valley Police Division & Wildlife Crime Unit were having fun with all the children “arresting” naughty parents (and staff!) and teaching them all about the illegal wildlife trade. Scott Lovat, Children’s Entertainer, wowed crowds with his magic throughout the evening and Jojo’s Little Party People were on hand with Queen Elsa – she helped announce winners of the raffle at the Sea Lion show and enjoyed meeting fans all evening!
Staff and keepers at Blair Drummond were on hand to chat to visitors about the animals in all sections – families marvelled at the tigers at their feeding time, the birds of prey during a show, and the cheeky sea lions managed to entertain the crowd as usual! A personal boat tour round Chimp Island was running all evening with our chimpanzee keepers, as well as feeds in Lemurland. A highlight of the evening had to be baby Bonnie the 9-month-old white rhino and her mum getting a mud bath from keepers. It was well past Bonnies bed time, so she was a wee bit lazy, much to the amusement of the audience! Visitors had a great time learning about life behind the scenes from all our keepers, and volunteers were on hand with loads of animal biofacts to examine.
Katie continued “the evening was truly fantastic – we could have not have asked for a better night! The weather was on our side, but even if it was raining I’m sure we all would have had fun! Having representatives from the attending charities at stalls in the restaurant was a brilliant addition. Families could chat to the charities they had received the tickets from and it gave Blair Drummond staff the opportunity to learn about some of Scotland’s charities working with children facing life-long conditions.”
Blair Drummond distributed tickets to twelve different charities working throughout Scotland, focusing on the Stirlingshire area. The charities are then responsible for giving out the tickets to their chosen families.
Blair Drummond would like to thank the following for their contribution to making Dreamnight a brilliant success:
Free toys were supplied and distributed donated by:
- Millars Ark Toys
- Petjes World
- Billy Ross Wholesale
- Nature Planet
- Deluxebase Ltd.
- Puckator Ltd.
- Talbot Fashions Brand Art
Foodstuffs donated by:
- Brakes Foodservice
- Mackie's Ice Cream & Chocolate
- Froneria ice cream
- Vimto soft drinks
- P&H sweets direct
All the charities who attended, gave out our tickets, and hosted a stall on the night. The children and their families who visited and created the fun! So many smiles and giggles! Last but not least the amazing staff and volunteers at Blair Drummond Safari Park - education, keepers, restaurant staff, management, face painters, amusements, mascots (well done boys!), ticket office and shop staff. You went above and beyond to make Dreamnight a brilliant night for all. We can't wait for the next one!