Irma damage cancels holiday tradition at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

75-percent of park reopened

SARASOTA, Fla. - Hurricane Irma did more damage to Sarasota Jungle Gardens than staff members were expecting.

“It took us about five weeks to reopen and we’re still only at 75-percent,” said Director Nancy Lavick.

She said the storm impacted trees, plumbing, and the electrical system.

“The resources available our focusing on the recovery from the storm,” said Lavick.

She said the damage was enough to force the tourist destination to cancel its annual holiday lights show. The event has been a big draw for fifteen years.

Jeannine Gray was disappointed to hear the news.  he brings her family to see the lights every year.

"Everything is lit up and everyone has that warm feelings, cause its the holidays it’s wonderful,” said Gray.

Staff members said they believe the holiday exhibit will be up and running for the next holiday season.

Print this article Back to Top