10 Ways to Celebrate the Cincinnati Zoo's Most Famous Resident, Fiona the Hippo's, Fourth Birthday

Everyone’s favorite hippopotamus is growing up: Fiona is turning 4 on Jan. 24.

click to enlarge Fiona as a wee baby - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Fiona as a wee baby

The years are getting away from Cincinnatians as Fiona, our cult-favorite hippo, turns 4-years-old on Jan. 24. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has cooked up some ways to celebrate her birthday.

The zoo will be hosting Float4Fiona, “a slow-paced race where thousands of numbered apples...will splash into Hippo Cove and float to the finish line.” These apples are now available for purchase. The owners of the winning apple, plus three guests, will get to meet Fiona: “the apple of everyone’s eye.”

“We can’t invite people here to witness the race, but we will stream it live on Facebook and announce the winners as the apples cross the finish line,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard.

Since Fiona is the “sweetheart of the city,” 10 local merchants will also be offering Fiona-themed items to celebrate.

Here’s Fiona’s birthday guide:

  • The Cincinnati Zoo Gift Shop will be selling a sparkly birthday T-shirt for Fiona’s birthday, and it’s perfect for anyone who loves hippos AND cake.
  • Rookwood Pottery has created a new Fiona Dessert Plate, which is available among other Fiona merch, such as ornaments and ice cream bowls.
  • Busken Bakery has whipped up an eight-pack of Fiona cookies, each adorned with a current photo of the chunky hippo. A portion of each pack will be donated to the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • Brazee Street Studios has scheduled a Zoom class on Jan. 21 where attendees can create a fused glass Fiona Plate. The materials will be provided by Brazee.
  • Cincy Shirts has created a Float4Fiona-themed T-shirt, because “Fiona is hip to the core.”
  • Listermann Brewing will be tapping a Team Fiona beer, available on Jan. 21 starting at noon. You can also get the beer in specially designed cans.
  • Coffee Emporium has brewed bags of Fiona's Blend and will be serving Fiona Mocha from Jan. 21 to 24. They have described the drink as “a nutty mocha that is warming and fun just like Fiona!”
  • Rally House will not reveal their design for a new Fiona T-shirt until her birthday on Jan. 24. Any other Fiona products are available at rallyhouse.com or at any of the five Rally House Cincinnati locations.
  • Of course, you can celebrate with the new Graeter’s Ice Cream classic, Chunky Chunky Hippo.
  • Fiona Helps a Friend the newest Fiona Book, is also available for pre-order.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale.

Cincinnati, OH 45220

Scroll to read more Culture articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.