Whether it’s the black-and-white tuxedo effect or the smile-inducing waddle, penguins have swum their way into America’s heart through popular films, such as March of the Penguins, Happy Feet and Surf’s Up.

Now, people in the Maryland area will have a chance to fall in love with the flightless birds when The Maryland Zoo launches its own penguin-palooza this weekend. On Sept. 27 at 9 a.m., zoo officials, Baltimore politicians and other dignitaries will attend a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to open Penguin Coast, the largest outdoor African penguin exhibit in North America.

Penguin Coast was designed to provide a more diverse living environment for the zoo’s current colony of 58 African black-footed penguins while also enriching the visitor experience.

The birds’ new digs include a 165,000-gallon, 360-degree moat-like pool surrounding the indoor Conservation Center, which will house the birds’ nest boxes, a hospital room, kitchen and keeper work space. This space, at more than 1,920 square feet, will allow the zoo to eventually grow the African penguin colony up to 100 birds. The entire exhibit encompasses 1.5 acres, the largest outdoor exhibit of this nature.

Exhibit highlights include wave action pumps throughout the pool to provide currents and waves for the penguins to navigate. The dump tank water feature also releases approximately 1,000 gallons of water into the tidal pool, providing a special wave and splash zone for the penguins.

Humans can view the action in person from under the dump tank through floor to ceiling glass walls, and online via two underwater webcams and one focusing on the island.

In another bird attraction, the Druid Hill menagerie will also welcome its first set of Caribbean flamingoes in 10 years as part of the newly renovated Marsh Aviary.