The Akron Zoo had planned their "free admission day" months ahead of Presidents Day 2017. There is no way they could have predicted the unseasonably high temperatures Akron for Monday.
With the combination of free admission, kids off of school for the holiday, and 61 degrees for the high locally, it made for a near-record for attendance at the Akron Zoo.
"Yesterday we had our second-largest attendance in the history of the Zoo; and we were only open for five hours. We had 7,300 people show up at the Akron Zoo," Dave Barnhardt with the zoo told 1590 WAKR.
The attendance was second to last year's record-setting day when the zoo hosted "Boo at the Zoo" last October. when we also saw unseasonably warm temperatures.
The zoo posted to their Facebook page just before 1 p.m., that they would be closing early and would update the status on whether or not they would reopen. By 4 p.m., the zoo's regular closing time, there was no status update. Mary from Akron called our newsroom around the same time saying that the line of cars was spilling out on to Copley Road at Edgewood Avenue. By the time her group had gotten near the zoo entrance, they were told by a police officer that they had to turn back; that the zoo wasn't letting any more people in.