Celebrate the magic of meerkats

Meerkat at John Ball Zoo. Photo by Bryan Esler.

The meerkat mob is taking over John Ball Zoo this Labor Day weekend as part of a  three-day animal conservation celebration.

‘Meerkat Mania’ events will feature live music, animal activities and specialty food while highlighting the meerkats in their state-of-the-art habitat. Events take place 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 4 and are sponsored by Michigan First Credit Union.

“We are excited to showcase our adorable meerkats with fun, educational activities people of all ages can enjoy,” said Mariah Malone, events coordinator at John Ball Zoo. “Meerkat Mania makes a perfect Labor Day weekend activity for the whole family.”

Each day, attendees can see an exciting steel drum performance from 9-10:30 a.m. and listen to story time with Circle Theatre at 11 a.m.

On Saturday, local musician Caitlin Cusack will perform from 3:30-5:30 p.m. On Sunday, Mama’s Hot Sauce, a cover band performing a mix of rockabilly, blues and rock will take the stage at noon, followed by Roots Vibrations, a Caribbean music group at 3:30 p.m. On Labor Day, attendees will enjoy Rusty & the Razorblades, a local classic rock band at noon and singer-songwriter Olivia Vargas at 3:30 p.m.

Meerkat Mania highlights the conservation and sustainability mission at John Ball Zoo, which works to inspire the community to be engaged in wildlife conservation through fun and meaningful educational experiences.

The meerkat habitat showcases the best of John Ball Zoo’s high standards on sustainability as it was the first zoo habitat in the world to be awarded a Sustainable SITES initiative certification and first SITES gold certification in the state of Michigan of any business. SITES is a comprehensive rating system for developing sustainable landscapes and protecting ecosystems.

Tickets for Meerkat Mania can be purchased online or at the Zoo.

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