Tree-lighting ceremony is November 23 at 5:30 p.m.

ROYAL OAK, Mich., Nov. 15, 2013 – Detroit Zoo visitors attending the opening night of Wild Lights will be treated to a luminous inaugural celebration. The kick-off event – to be held just inside the admission gates Saturday, Nov. 23, 5:30 to 6 p.m. – will include a tree-lighting ceremony, music, holiday dancers and a complimentary holiday cookie and hot cocoa reception. Guests will be greeted by Santa as well as the Zoo's mascots, Junior Z and the Zooper Heroes.

The spectacular holiday light display, presented by Bank of America, will feature more than two million twinkling LED lights adorning buildings, animal sculptures and trees on a half-mile trail through the front of the Zoo. Live entertainment – including carolers and the Off Broadway Productions mini-musical "Frosty's Follies" – as well as a musical light show, cookie decorating, storytelling, ice carving demonstrations and a Lego city and train display will add to the fun.

"The Polar Express 4-D Experience", a 14-minute adaption of the feature film starring Tom Hanks, will be featured exclusively during Wild Lights at the Wild Adventure Zone's 4-D Theater. "Happy Feet: Mumble's Wild Ride" will also be showing at the Wild Adventure Zone's Simulator Ride. Tickets for each experience are $5 with Wild Lights admission or a "Bundle Up" price of $7 for both; children under 2 are free.

Seasonal food and refreshments, holiday spirits, photos with Santa (through Dec. 23), Wild Lights souvenirs and zoo-themed holiday gifts will be available for purchase.

Wild Lights will be held for 24 nights Nov. 23-24, 29-30; Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, 26-30, 2013; and Jan. 2-5, 2014. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. weeknights and Sundays and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Wild Lights admission is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the gate for ages 2 and up (under 2 free); parking is $5 per car. Tickets can be purchased at Detroit Zoo main admissions or online at http://www.detroitzoo.org/events/wild-lights and are also available at all Michigan Kroger stores.

The Holden Reptile Conservation Center, Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat and Jane and Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat will be open during Wild Lights; the remainder of the animal habitats and buildings will be closed.

Wild Lights is also sponsored by The Home Depot; HoneyBaked Ham Company; IBEW Local 58; Kroger; Pepsi; TOGGLED; and WOW! Cable, Internet and Phone.