Celebrate National Aviary’s 60th Anniversary

  • By Sara Hess | Thursday, September 20th, 2012

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh is truly one of a kind and unlike any place in America. With a rich history, an exciting foundation, and unique attractions, not only is it time to commemorate 60 years in Pittsburgh, it’s time to honor the Aviary and its entire mission.

The National Aviary has been providing years of enjoyment and education for the residents and visitors of Pittsburgh. To celebrate it’s achievements and history, they are hosting a 60th Anniversary party in doo-wop fashion on Friday, September 28th! We caught up with Visitor Services Manager Ericka Douglass to learn a little more about the celebration, as well as some Aviary history.

“The plot of land we sit on was the site of the Western Penitentiary in the 1800’s,” said Visitor Services Manager Ericka Douglass. “It was demolished and Phipps Conservatory was erected in the early 1900’s. A natural gas explosion damaged the building beyond repair in 1927, and after a few years of just sitting, it was razed and the new Conservatory-Aviary was built, which opened August 10, 1952. We became the National Aviary in 1993.”

Since then, thousands of people have ‘flocked’ to the Aviary to see and learn about more than 600 birds from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. With live, free-flight bird shows enhanced by professionally produced lighting, video, music and sets, interactive bird connections, penguin paintings, and so much more, the National Aviary is definitely a destination worth visiting! And if you haven’t been to the Aviary before, the anniversary party is the perfect time to explore and enjoy America’s bird zoo.

The anniversary party is themed for a sock-hoppin’, saddle shoe shakin’  1950’s celebration. “Opening in 1952, a 50’s sock hop theme was the perfect fit!” Douglass said. “The staff will be dressed in 50’s style fashion, but guests are encouraged to wear whatever they are comfortable in.”

For music and added retro ambiance, local favorite Johnny Angel and the Halos will be providing the perfect doo-wop sounds, bringing the sounds of the 1950’s to life!

Completing the theme, there will be ‘signature cocktails and fabulous ‘50s style fare.’ “Our signature cocktails will be a 7&7 and an adult root beer float. There is an open wine and beer bar for guests as well as non-alcoholic beverages.”

When you’re not twistin’ the night away or noshing on something delectable, you can wander around the Aviary, since the exhibits will be open and they will also have birds on gloves for guests to admire. Only have time for one exhibit that night? “The Tropical Forest was the first exhibit erected and has been here the longest!” exclaimed Douglass.

She encourages first time guests to come to the Aviary for the 60th Anniversary party.  “I love watching guests who are experiencing the National Aviary for the first time! This event in particular is going to be great, with Johnny Angel and the Halos performing, themed drinks and a full history of not only the National Aviary but a bit of the buildings here before us.”

Get your tickets online now for only $60! Your ticket includes food, drink, entertainment, as well as admission to the National Aviary. Congratulations and happy celebrations to the Aviary!

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