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Dakota Electric Association members and their families should mark the date for the twelfth-annual Member Appreciation Event on July 30 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, Dakota Electric Association provides complimentary admission to the Minnesota Zoo for all who purchase electricity from the cooperative.

“Dakota Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, so this member-only event is our way of showing our appreciation to our members,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. Tickets to the event were included in electric bills, or members may bring a copy of a recent bill.

Members attending the event are encouraged to bring food or cash to be donated to local food shelves. In the last 11 years, Dakota Electric’s members have donated more than six tons of food and more than $4,200 toward local food shelves.

Cooperative members can enjoy Africa!, which is returning for the summer: Giraffes, zebras, antelope, wildebeest and ostriches roaming a six-acre exhibit will transport guests to an African savanna. Members can also enjoy the zoo’s popular exhibit, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, and many other features including the Minnesota Trail, World of Birds Show, free monorail rides and discounted tickets to the IMAX Theatre. Those interested in IMAX movies should check the Web site for show times (

Dakota Electric’s guests will enjoy music from a brass quintet, and children will love the new Woodland Adventure, an interactive, nature-based play area opening July 11. Louie the Lightning Bug, Dakota Electric’s safety mascot, and Woodsy the Owl will be greeting children. Dakota Electric welcomes all its members and their families to enjoy this great family event.

A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 100,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member-owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

Read more information about the event.