On September 12, 1986, The president, Mr. Pichai Chaimongkoltrakul officially opened the zoo to the public as a family playground and tourist destination. The Elephant Theme Show, an elephant show complete with sound effects and narration was presented for the first time in Thailand which become the main feature of the Elephant Ground.
The Elephant Theme Show starts off with an introduction to Asian elephants, followed by a demonstration of the traditional elephant lassoing by the Suay tribe, elephants at work, playing football and dancing. The show concludes with a spectacular re-enactment of a battle from the historic war between Thailand’s King Naresuan the Great and a Burmese prince, complete with elephants dressed in traditional armor.
On the 1st of May in 1996, Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo celebrated its 10th anniversary by hosting the first Jumbo Banquet. Now an annual event, the banquet features elephants feasting on tons of their favorite vegetables and fruit – in a show of thanks to the elephants for all their hard work and the happiness they bring to the public. Organizers were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown for the event by the public and the media alike.
The following year, to add to the entertainment, the Jumbo Queen contest was incorporated into the festivities. The aim of the contest is to select the contestant who best exhibits the characteristics of an elephant, by virtue of her grace, elegance and size, to help promote elephant conservation causes in Thailand.
The Elephant Alliance of Thailand (E.A.T.) honoured the Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo by declaring the Jumbo Queen to the Ambassador for Thai Elephant Conservation.