SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Thousands of members and guests were on hand Sunday morning for the San Diego Zoo's 100th birthday party, as it was re-dedicated to the children of the world, according to zoo officials.
The festivities began with a parade and ended with a ceremony and cake cutting in the historic Wegeforth Bowl, named for the zoo's founder, Dr. Harry Wegeforth.
Oct. 2 is recognized as the zoo's birthday because on this date in 1916, Wegeforth and his brother met with three San Diego colleagues to form the Zoological Society of San Diego, according to a statement released Sunday by the zoo. They got the idea from animal exhibits at the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park a year earlier.
A large birthday cake was cut by the zoo's director, Robert Horsman, to end the festivities. The four-tiered cake was created by Charm City Cakes in Los Angeles and was topped with a colorful, three-dimensional version of the Zoo's centennial logo, which featured Rex the lion.
The cake was specially designed for the zoo's 100th birthday and took five days to decorate as each piece of confetti was hand-placed. The chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting boasted 100 pounds of fondant icing and three dozen sparklers.
The celebration at the zoo also served as the official launch of Kids Free, an annual event that offers free zoo and Safari Park admission all month long to children 11 and younger, when they are accompanied by an adult.
The zoo plans to offer extra activities to connect children with wildlife and nature on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October.
A touching show of solidarity was on display Sunday as the body of fallen San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson returned to San Diego.
A small plane crashed and burned in an El Cajon parking lot shortly after takeoff Sunday, sending three people to a hospital.
One person was killed and at least two others injured in a two-car crash on Old Highway 395 near Pala Mesa Resort on Sunday.
A driver's license and drunken driving checkpoint in Poway resulted in four arrests, sheriff's officials said Sunday.
Despite recent windy, dry conditions, some San Diegans were treated to cool weather, and in some areas, light sprinkles this weekend.
Distraught doesn't begin to describe the family of Jermaine Barnes, a Mountain View man left with life-threatening brain injuries after he was hit by a car Friday night outside of his home.
Gun owners were given the chance to trade in their unwanted firearms for cash or a skateboard at a gun buyback event hosted by local police and faith leaders on Saturday.
More than 140 children received early Christmas gifts Saturday thanks to a local church and the county's bravest men and women.