CINCINNATI, OH (January 1, 2021) – To celebrate famous hippo Fiona’s 4th birthday, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting Float4Fiona, a slow-paced race where hundreds of numbered apples, now available for purchase, will splash into Hippo Cove and float to the finish line! The owner of the winning apple, plus three guests, will get to meet the apple of everyone’s eye, birthday girl Fiona!
“Since we can’t invite people to a big old party for Fiona this year, we will hold the race before the Zoo opens on her birthday, January 24, and share it live on Facebook so people everywhere can watch and hope their apple finishes first,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “If you win and are not able to travel to meet Fiona in person, you can opt for a private video chat and custom-made hippo kiss painting.”
In lieu of birthday presents for Fiona, the Zoo is asking hard-core fans to consider purchasing an apple to support the Zoo. Each $5 donation equals one apple entered into the race. A more a-peeling option might be the Float4Fiona 4pk, which gets you four race entries for $16. All Float4Fiona race proceeds will go to the Zoo’s Emergency Operating Fund, which was established to keep the Zoo afloat after a financially devastating closure in 2020.
“Cincinnati Zoo animals eat about 15,000 pounds of apples a year, and the Emergency Operating fund helps us cover that cost,” said Maynard. “In addition to raising much-needed funds, the event is sure to be a bushel of fun!”
Prizes will be award for the first 4 apples to bob across the finish line. Second, third and fourth place finishers will receive limited-edition Fiona kiss prints. Apples can be purchased now through January 20 at midnight. The race will take place at 9am on Sunday, January 24, 2021, and the winners will be announced during the live Facebook stream. Due to COVID gathering restrictions, there will be no on-site access to the event.