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Big Bithday for Bao Bao: Top National Zoo attraction turns 1

Saturday - 8/23/2014, 1:44pm  ET

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Well-wishers celebrated Bao Bao's first birthday at the National Zoo Saturday with birthday cake. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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Zoo kicks off Bao Bao's birthday bash

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck reports

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WASHINGTON -- Power players come and go in this town, but few ascend so quickly and convincingly as a little panda cub already known the world over.

Bao Bao turned one year old on Saturday, and a birthday bash was held in her honor at the National Zoo.

"Certainly [she has] been one of the most photographed individuals in the District of Columbia this year," says Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokeswoman at the National Zoo.

The giant panda cub arrived on this planet the color pink and weighing 8 ounces. On her birthday, she is black and white and weighs 44 pounds before the birthday cake, that is.

Yes, there was birthday cake.

The special cake was made up of diluted apple juice and pieces of fruit.

Bao Bao dove in before lunch, according to the National Zoo. Spectators lined up able for a chance to join the celebration.

Friends from the Chinese Embassy were expected to provide dandan noodles, which are typical of the Sichuan province and served on the occasion of a first birthday.

Here's the schedule of the birthday bash festivities:

  • The panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Bao Bao and Mei Xiang will receive a specially made frozen cake at 11:30 a.m.
  • Keepers will give panda talks at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Guests will enjoy complimentary dandan noodles on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Arrive early -- Long lines require earlier cut-off times to ensure those waiting can enter the panda house before it closes. If crowds are heavy, the line may close as early as 4 p.m.

Well wishers can also help celebrate by tweeting their birthday wishes for Bao Bao using #BaoBaoBDay.

Video: Bao Bao's First Year

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