PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the Roger Williams Park Zoo gets ready to mark a major anniversary, it’s also celebrating a successful 2021.

The zoo announced it had a record-breaking year in terms of attendance with 834,960 visitors, which they noted is a 23.5% increase over pre-pandemic attendance in 2019.

“After the challenges we faced with COVID in 2020, we were optimistic but cautious; we didn’t know what to expect in 2021,” interim executive director Ron Patalano said.

Patalano said the increase in visitation is notable given the lack of student field trips and other programs at the zoo, while camps operated with limited capacity.

Its annual Halloween event, the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, also set a new record with 168,850 attendees in 2021.

“As we celebrate our 150th birthday this year, it’s heart-warming to know the Roger Williams Park Zoo is recognized as a valuable community asset in New England,” he added. “We will continue to engage and inspire our guests to pursue our mission of conserving wildlife and wild places for years to come.”