Springfield, MO

Wonders of Wildlife will host a bevy of politicians, conservation leaders and musicians during a Sept. 20 gala, according to an invitation for the event.
SBJ file photo
Wonders of Wildlife will host a bevy of politicians, conservation leaders and musicians during a Sept. 20 gala, according to an invitation for the event.

Presidents Bush, Carter plan to attend WOW debut

Posted online

An invitation to the private debut of Wonders of Wildlife indicates former Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will be among the featured guests.

The Sept. 20 gala at 500 W. Sunshine St. will honor former President George H. W. Bush, according to the invitation. George W. Bush and Carter are listed as the event’s co-chairmen with other guests including U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, and Gov. Eric Greitens, according to the invitation obtained by Springfield Business Journal.

Musical guests include Kevin Costner, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, as well as a live feed of Kid Rock, according to the invitation. The event also will include fishermen Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston, NASCAR racers Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr. and hunters Jim and Eva Shockey, according to the invitation.

More than 400 conservation leaders are anticipated to attend the event, according to a news release from Bass Pro Shops. The release did not include the names of Bush and Carter. Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien declined to confirm whether the former presidents would be in attendance.

The Sept. 20 gala begins with a preview tour of the museum and aquarium, followed by a dinner reception, ribbon-cutting ceremony and an event dubbed Concert for Conservation. The invitation also lists the gala as a fundraising event, with the option to make contributions to the nonprofit Wonders of Wildlife.

Wonders of Wildlife is scheduled to continue tours for conservation leaders, public officials and donors Sept. 21 before opening the attraction to the public the next day, according to the release.

Bass Pro also plans to close its flagship store attached to Wonders of Wildlife on Sept. 20 to prepare for the event. It’s scheduled to reopen Sept. 21.

The 350,000-square-foot Wonders of Wildlife includes a 1.5 million-gallon aquarium; more than a mile of trails and exhibits; 35,000 animals; 70,000 square feet of wildlife galleries and dioramas; and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Adult tickets start at $40 for both the aquarium and museum.


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

Crossroads in Republic ripe for industrial park

Two buildings in a budding Republic industrial park just might be the welcome mat officials need.

Most Read
SBJ Live logo
Giving Employees a Career Choice

“We think it’s a good thing if every employee has a number of choices. Maybe they’ll want to stay and make a career at Amazon and we welcome that,” says Juan Garcia, Director - Associate …

Training Bootcamp: Training Needs Assessment All workplace problems have root causes. When will training be the solution? Sherry Coker, OTC Center for Workforce Development business development director, provides you the framework of a training needs assessment, which will uncover the root causes of a workplace problem and help you determine if training is the solution. A download is available at with a complete outline for an effective training needs assessment. This is sponsored content. Duration: 2:29
Don’t Micro-Manage Are you guilty of micromanaging your employees? “If we’re going to require them to be that educated when they come to work for us, should we not let them do their job? They should know so much …
Seek Wisdom from Many “My whole life goal is to change the world, one connection at a time,” says Keisha Mabry. Mabry, who is an author, speaker, and social entrepreneur, says she had a “quarter-life crisis” and …
DNA Uncovers Best Version of You A simple swab of the inside of your cheek can lead to optimizing your nutrition and fitness program, personal medication profile, in addition to your ancestry. According to Austin O’Reilly, owner …