Indianapolis Zoo’s ‘Bicentennial Pavilion’ offers a new experiences for guests

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As Indianapolis Zoo workers prepare to host their largest fundraiser of the year, guests can look forward to a brand new experience at "Zoobilation," but it’s not just for the fundraiser.

Now, you can see flying macaws and huge overhead towers when you enter the zoo through the brand new Bicentennial Pavilion.

“This space was designed to kind of give the feel of being under the forest canopy,” said zoo spokesperson Carla Knapp.

Crews transformed the zoo’s former "Party Pavilion" into a larger, 40-thousand square foot space.

“A 10 million dollar grant from the Lilly Foundation is what made all of this possible,” Knapp said.

Overlapping roof panels let the sunlight in, while protecting guests from the elements.

“We’ve been having a lot of rain recently and this space is designed to protect guests from the weather. It also uses the rain to water the plants -- we have rain gardens that are underneath each of the towers,” Knapp said.

Not only is it a new home for zoo events, but also home to the zoo's newest presentation.

“The macaw presentation is such an incredible addition to the zoo, it’s so unique to be able to see these beautiful, tropical birds flying around,” Knapp said.

“Tropical adventure” is the theme of Zoobilation this year, inspired by the macaws.

“Zoobilation is going to be the very first event hosted inside of the brand new bicentennial pavilion, so this is going to be a wonderful focal point,” Knapp said.

While the north end of the pavilion is home to zoo's new macaw presentation, the south end will now be the new home for their summer concert series. Knapp says crews also built a hearth space that will be used during the colder months.

For more on the Bicentennial Pavilion, click here.