TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo has some big bragging rights...again.
For a second time now, the Toledo Zoo's "LIghts Before Christmas" beat out 20 other zoos across the country to be named Best Zoo Lights by USA TODAY.
For visitors, it was a surprise and a thrill.
"How wonderful. Yay!" was the reaction from Joelynn Samson, visiting with her daughter and niece. "I voted too so that's great!"
She says she knows Toledo puts on a better lights display than most other zoos.
"Wasn't even a contest! Wasn't concerned at all. I know my zoo. I've lived enough places to know this is superior," said Joelynn.
The "Lights Before Christmas" is a family tradition for a lot of Toledoans.
"We come here very year," said Eric Woods, visiting with his wife and children.
"I like the big tree that we see every year," said his daughter.
"It's so pretty. It's fun for the kids," adds Eric's wife, Jenny.
And it's always worth the trip. Dazzling lights around every corner, some of them in the shape of zoo creatures.
And some are surprises... like a lit up spider and web hiding up in a tree.
Some of the lights, even dancing.
The Toledo Zoo competed against 20 other zoos, including regional competition from Detroit Zoo which got second, Columbus Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo.
But it still stole the title, for the second year in a row.
For the zoo, it's a big honor, and recognition for all of the hard work they've put in.
"It's such a testament to the staff here at the Toledo Zoo," said Jen Brassil, with Toledo Zoo's Marketing Department. "There are so many people involved in putting on such a great event and lights display, so we couldn't be more thrilled that the community got behind us, everybody voted! "
The national recognition will likely bring even more visitors from around the country, and some extra sparkle for every person here, who gets to have it in their own backyard.
You can check out these award-winning lights from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The lights are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Zoo members receive free and unlimited access to the Lights Monday and Thursday plus one free weekend visit.
Visitors can also save $1 per ticket by ordering online.