Utica Zoo officials announced that their revenue is down over $1 Million for 2020. As they enter the winter season, it is a stark reality as their expenses far outweigh their revenue during these months. The zoo has been doing the best that they can to find ways to make some profits: planning events, and selling merchandise.

Area musician, Tommy Lamach, was scheduled to perform at the Zoo for their "Bright Nights at The Zoo" event, which has since been canceled due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Oneida County. He then was trying to brainstorm solutions to how he could still perform.

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"I was going to then do a FB Live feed of just me singing those songs anyway," said Lamach. "then a light bulb went off and I reached out to Mark Simon (at the Zoo) about doing a Virtual Concert!! He liked it."

After the approval was granted, a message was sent out to numerous of Lamach's musician friends, and teamed up with Dick Smith's Tavern to have the "Virtual Holiday Special" brought to life.

On Wednesday, December 23rd, you'll be able to gather virtually to enjoy music from some of your favorite local musicians. This includes: Justin Smithson and Shawn Smith, Tommy Lamach, Gary Johnson, Max Scialdone, Herb Liebhaber, Kevin Dundon, Andrew Moore, Phil Arcuri, Matt Grainger, Tom Nitti, Liz Friedel, Joe Bolton, and more, performing holiday standards and classics for our virtual "attendees".

The Utica Zoo Virtual Holiday Special is also held in honor of the memory of late Utica music legend Freddy Piperata.

The event is serving as a benefit to help the zoo operate during the winter months. Donations to the Zoo can be made in the following ways:

Emergency Operations Fund- www.uticazoo.org/emergencyfund

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