UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- The Utica Zoo is kicking off a year of celebratory events in honor of their 100-year-anniversary.
The small zoo opened in 1914 and over the last century has grown into a community staple and a home to over 200 animals like Widget the Porcupine and this Red-Tailed Hawk.
On Wednesday, the zoo employees cut a white ribbon instead of red.
That's because six months from now, the zoo will be decorated in all white for a Rio Gala, which will raise money to finish the zoo's South American exhibit.
It's just one of many upcoming events, celebrating an anniversary that wasn't always a guarantee.
"Things were not doing well financially. There were a lot of issues, but we worked very hard and in the last several years the zoo has really done a great turnaround. It looks a lot better, we're in the best shape we've been in in years," said Joe DeTraglia, board president at the Utica Zoo.
The celebrations last all year and they can't wait to start the next 100 years.
Full list of events:
NEW - 100 Years of Fun Raffle - Trip for four to Disney
Wednesday, January 29th through Sunday, July
Annual - Eggstravaganza - Easter celebration with egg hunts & the Easter Bunny Saturday, April 19th
14th Annual Wine In the Wilderness - New York State wine sampling event featuring the band Simple
Saturday, June 7th
NEW - Rio White Party Gala including Authentic Animal Art Auction - An exclusive night celebrating the first day of the Zoo’s next 100 years
Friday, July 18th
NEW - Birthday Celebration - FREE admission for everyone, bands, & more Sunday, July 20th
NEW - American Teenager Exhibit - A contrast of teenagers 1914 vs. 2014 Sunday, July 13th through
Saturday July 19th
16th Annual Brewfest - A sampling event featuring microbrews from across the world Saturday, August 2nd
NEW - Golf Tournament - The golf tournament that only happens once every 100 years. Held in August, it will be a family fun event encouraging adults and children to participate. Wednesday, August 20th
27th Annual Spooktacular - Halloween & Harvest celebration with treat stations, hayride & more
Friday, October 17th through Sunday October 19th
NEW & ONGOING - Utica Zoo Historical Wall of Fame Exhibit - Thanking those who have supported the Zoo in the past 100 years