Monday, November 18, 2013

The Elephant Parade Has Left Town

Last night, the three dozen or so Asian elephants in the Elephant Parade were auctioned off. Today they will go to their permanent homes, and our town will go back to its pre-pachyderm invasion.
They arrived in August with a ‘parade’ up the sand and throughout Doheny Beach. I must confess, I wasn’t sure about the event at first, but after seeing these beautiful works of art, I was enchanted. Even our Japanese daughter, Yuko, got to enjoy them on her brief visit.

Next, the parade moved throughout the city. On our morning walks, we went by about eight of them, and our routine started to include greeting each one as we passed. In addition, on our way to and from the marina, we drove by three or four others on street corners. Sometimes we stopped by the Ocean Institute to check on Jack, the one decorated like an airplane.

During the months since, we located nearly all of them and visited. Each time, we were impressed by how charming they were.

Last week, the herd was rounded up and transported to Lantern Bay Park, where we went each day to visit them again as a group. On Saturday, a huge community gala was held as a final farewell to the gentle giants.

Last night they were auctioned off, and we hope they raised a great deal of money. We bought the book and three of the miniatures, one to keep (Gentle Guardian, the angel one above) and two for gifts. (Those are a secret.) Only ten of the three-dozen were available for purchase in the tiny form, but they included some of our favorites.

Unfortunately, Larry’s favorite, California Surpher, was not among them.

However, rumors abound that several, including this one, may have been purchased and will stay here in town.

We are very grateful for the visit of the Elephant Parade to our city. Every time we saw them, we had to smile. And we will continue to smile whenever we think about them. 


This is a worldwide movement called the Elephant Parade, created to save the Asian elephant. These majestic creatures are nearly extinct, and this art installation is intended to raise funds to help save the species.

A different city sponsors each event. Dana Point was chosen as the first US city to participate. Local artists as well as those from around the world (about a third from Asia) decorated the elephants. Each is about five-feet tall, the actual size of a baby elephant. They are displayed in each location for several months, and then they are auctioned off. All the proceeds from the books to the fundraisers to the miniatures to the auction go to the fund to save the Asian elephant. So far, they have held events in Singapore, London, Emmen (Netherlands) and Dana Point. We're proud to be the first place in the US to host them!

But we're sad to see them go.

Did you see the parade? What did you think? Would you like to buy a miniature like we did? Ten of them are available here:


  1. What a fun thing to participate in and what a charming way to raise money. :-)

    1. I didn't know how attached we'd become to the 'heffalumps,' but we missed seeing them on our walk this morning. :(

  2. This morning on my way home from the doctor's office, I made a detour by Lantern Bay Park, knowing all the beautiful artwork would be gone. Maybe I'm a masochist, or just wanted to see if, by chance, one or two remained.. The park has returned to it's previous state. However, as I reached the top of the hill, I looked to the left. There stood the California Surpher, right in the same spot I'd last seen him. And I cried.