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ZooLights Starts Friday at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

WHAT: Washington Capitals Players, Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault, skate with 50 contest winners on Dec. 11, at ZooLights, following the reveal of the Gin-GRR-bread Kids' Farm habitat contest winner.

WHEN: ZooLights has been expanded this year with new activities and added dates. The event runs weekends Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, and Dec. 9-11, and every night beginning Dec. 16 – Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24, 25, 31).

WHERE: Smithsonian's National Zoo. 3001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Press parking in the Bus Lot. Media contact Devin Murphy at (202) 633-3055, or after hours at (202) 904-8739.

Come to ZooLights, powered by Pepco, on Sunday, Dec. 11, and watch Washington Capitals players Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault skate from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy free admission and support your home team! Johansson and Perreault will skate on the ZooLights iceless skating rink, sponsored by GEICO, with 50 area-children. Slapshot, the Capitals mascot, will also be at the Zoo that evening to sign autographs, skate with ZooLights guests, and provide a unique photo opportunity.

Enter to win a chance to skate with the Washington Capitals! Children can submit their names in enter-to-win boxes set up in all three Zoo gift shops during the first two weekends of ZooLights (Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4). Note: Children entering the contest must be between the ages of 5-14 and able to skate independently, as no adults will be allowed on the rink.

Before you watch Johansson and Perreault skate, be sure to come to the Visitor Center to see the winners of this year's Gin-GRR-Bread Habitat Contest, sponsored by Starbucks. Three grand prize and three first place winners will be selected during this special event beginning at 6 p.m. The habitat theme this year focused on the Kids' Farm exhibit, and 23 entries were received. An anchor from ABC7/WJLA-TV, along with Debbi Jarvis, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility from Pepco Holdings, will MC the event. Starbucks will provide free gingerbread latte samples to all guests.

No tickets are required for entrance to ZooLights. Parking rates are $9 for FONZ members and $16 for nonmembers (note free FONZ membership parking does not apply).

All proceeds from ZooLights concessions and parking sales will benefit a variety of Zoo wildlife conservation programs and initiatives, from educational opportunities to new and improved animal exhibits, to conservation science research projects. For more information, visit the Zoo's website. ZooLights is supported by a generous donation from Pepco, who invites all customers to learn how to manage their energy use by signing up for My Account on Pepco's website.

Other ZooLights sponsors include: ABC 7 /WJLA-TV, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast, FAMILY Magazine, GEICO, Giant Food, News Channel 8, SunTrust Bank, United Airlines, 97.1 WASH-FM and the Washington Post/KidsPost.