Dakota Electric Association members and their families should mark the date for the fifteenth-annual Member Appreciation Event on July 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. During the event, Dakota Electric provides complimentary admission to the Minnesota Zoo for those who purchase electricity from the cooperative.

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 14 years, Dakota Electric’s members have donated more than nine tons of food and more than $6,000 toward local food shelves.

“Food shelves have a lot of demand on them, so we encourage our members to be generous when they attend the event,” President and CEO Greg Miller said. “Dakota Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative, so this member-only event is our way of showing our appreciation to our members.”

Cooperative members can enjoy the zoo’s many exhibits, such as Penguins of the African Coast, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, the Minnesota Trail, World of Birds Show, free monorail rides and more. Visitors on this special member-only event can see the zoo’s new temporary feature, DINOSAURS!, for an extra $4 charge. The IMAX Theater has a special discount for Dakota Electric members: buy one, get one free, To the Arctic 3D at 6:20 p.m. Those interested in IMAX movies should check the IMAX website for show times.

Dakota Electric’s guests will also enjoy music from the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band and walk-around magic by Bob Miller. Children can enjoy the splash pad, the Woodland Adventure play area and Louie the Lightning Bug, Dakota Electric’s safety mascot, who will be greeting children. Dakota Electric welcomes its members and their families to enjoy this great family event.

Celebrating 75 years of service in 2012, 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.