Originally posted on the Intern Edition blog for NPR.
Every year, right around the end of March, rumblings of the elephant walk start to surface.
Yes, that’s right. The Elephant Walk.
In advance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus opening at the Verizon Center this week, the streets of DC turn into a pre-circus parade of elephants, clowns and other entertaining animals. It’s really a clever way to generate interest in the event while masking it’s true intent – moving the massive pachyderms from the circus train’s station in Southeast, up past the Capitol for a photo op, and on to the final venue in Chinatown.
Since I’ve lived in the city, I’ve tried to get to the elephant walk to see the spectacle. And every year, I’ve missed it. This year was a close call – those elephants walk fast! I followed @DCElephantWalk on Twitter to keep updated with their location, and still I barely made it to the Verizon center to see the parade. Thankfully, the clowns were out and about afterward to meet with the crowd.
Some love the elephant walk. Others decry it as animal cruelty. I opt to put aside my adult brain and indulge my inner 10-year old.
I love elephants. And I love a good photo op.