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Best Nonprofit Event 

Walk in the Wild at the Oakland Zoo

Taking the kids to zoo for a picnic makes for a fine day, but wouldn't the zoo be even more fun if adults, sans kiddos, could sip wine and cocktails, nosh on nibbles from some of the East Bay's best restaurants, and a dance under the stars next to the flamingos? That's exactly what Walk in the Wild allows. Presented by the East Bay Zoological Society, Walk in the Wild is the zoo's annual adults-only fund-raising event to produce money for zoo conservation, education, and animal enrichment programs. For the past seventeen years, the zoo has flung open its gates on a late afternoon in June for an ever increasingly popular fete that lets patrons laugh with the lemurs, party with the primates, and talk to the turtles until dark. More than ninety vendors — wineries, breweries, restaurants, caterers, and bakeries — line the pathways at the zoo, allowing animal lovers to snack and imbibe next to their favorite critter, be it sun bear, lion, tiger, elephant, or alligator. At this party, the adults can be kids again, jostling for the best spots in line for the sky ride and train — all in the name of animal conservation.

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