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Dakota Electric Association members and their families should mark the date for the nineteenth-annual Member Appreciation Event on July 28 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 recent 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 18 years, Dakota Electric’s members have donated more than 14 tons of food and nearly $10,000 toward local food shelves.

“Food shelves have a lot of demand on them in the summer, 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, including the Zoo’s Hawaiian Monk Seals, Penguins of the African Coast, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, the Minnesota Trail, World of Birds Show and more. For an extra fee, members can see the Dinosaurs exhibit, where animatronic dinosaurs come to life. The IMAX Theater is providing discounted tickets for Dakota Electric members. Those interested in IMAX movies should check the IMAX website for show times (

Dakota Electric’s guests will also enjoy music from the Blue Ox Jazz Babies and close-up magic by Bob Miller. Children can enjoy the splash pad, the Woodland Adventure play area and the Hanifl Wild Woods nature-based play area. LED Lucy, Dakota Electric’s mascot, will also be greeting children. Dakota Electric welcomes its members and their families to enjoy this great family event.