ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo will hold the second of five October weekend events on Saturday, Oct. 8, as part of ZooFEST 2011, featuring giant puppets, puppet parades and puppet-making crafts for children.

The group Paperhand Puppet Intervention will lead two parades of giant puppets at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the North America bridge. Visitors of all ages are invited and needed to participate in the parades by carrying some of the magnificent puppets.

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., children can take part in puppet-making crafts in the North America and Africa plazas. The children can then bring their hand-made puppets and march along in the two parades.

Visitors who wish to participate in the parades should come to the North America Plaza 15 minutes prior to the scheduled parade time.

Since 1998, Paperhand Puppet Intervention has used cardboard, corn starch, bamboo, old house paints and other assorted junk to create giant puppets, masks, shadow plays and performances for all ages. They tell stories, beat drums, paint cardboard, sew cloth and carry heavy things. Their parades, pageants and shows are "celebrations for everyone to enjoy...expressions of our love, for the earth and its creatures."

Family entertainment will continue at the zoo in upcoming Saturdays throughout the month. On Saturday, Oct.15, a HOWL-O-Ween event will give zoo visitors a chance to learn about the conservation efforts for red wolves. Wolf-awareness information stations, educational activities and zoo keeper talks will highlight the day.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, zoo visitors can discover the good nature of bats during the park's Batology event.
In the final weekend, Oct. 29 & 30, the zoo will come alive with its annual Boo at the Zoo, featuring two magical days of family entertainment and Halloween fun with games, treats, costume parades and contests each day.
All the weekend fun takes place during regular zoo hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is included in the regular zoo admission of $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+) and $8 for children (ages 2-12).

Coca-Cola is the signature sponsor for all zoo special events this year.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.