All proceeds raised go to the zoo’s conservation and educational efforts

ATASCADERO — Animal lovers with a sweet tooth headed to Charles Paddock Zoo on Saturday, July 16, for the zoo’s 19th Annual Ice Cream Zoofari. The event took place from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. It was great fun for everyone in attendance with all-you-can-eat ice cream stations throughout the zoo.

“Ice cream was ‘all you can eat!’ And there was plenty,” said Deputy City Manager of Marketing, Promotions, and Events Terrie Banish.

Attendees could sample as many flavors of ice cream as they wanted as they checked out the over 200 animals at the zoo. Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab provided 15 flavors of ice cream, including Bubble Gum, Strawberry, Sea Salt Caramel, Vanilla Bean, Rainbow Sorbet, Rocky Road, Vanilla, and Butterfinger Blast. The ice cream’s cost was split between the zoo and the Atascadero Rotary Club.


Aside from the ice cream, there were plenty of other enjoyable things to do at the Ice Cream Zoofari.

“There was dancing with our DJ, Garry Brill; animals you could enjoy up close with our zoo educators, from the hedgehog to our screech owls,” added Banish. “Plus, you were able to enjoy the animals, from the baby flamingos to the monkeys to the tiger, lemurs, red pandas, and Wally, the American alligator! Quite a bit to enjoy.”

Money raised from the event goes directly toward helping the zoo with its conservation and educational efforts and operating the facility. Banish said that revenue numbers look similar to the Zoofari’s previous years, which is a great thing.

Many local volunteers and sponsors helped put on the Ice Cream Zoofari, with Boy Scout Troop #51, ensuring that each ice cream station had ice cream and tools. In addition, members of Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo, Rotary of Atascadero, El Camino Veterinarian, and Pure Pediatric Dentistry all served ice cream during the event, with Pure Pediatric Dentistry as one of the event’s major presenting sponsors.

“We appreciate everyone who helped,” Banish stated.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 15, 2023, when the Ice Cream Zoofari will return for its 20th year.