DUMBO

Thousands of tiny elephants float into DUMBO streets

September 30, 2019 Paul Frangipane
Roughly 2,500 toy elephants were dropped from rooftops onto Washington Street in DUMBO for the third annual DUMBO Drop. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

Brooklyn’s most-photographed block continued to be the center of attention Friday night when thousands of miniature blue elephants floated down onto the cobblestones below.

Spectators witnessed the tiny elephants, attached to parachutes, flung off nearby rooftops and rain down onto them. The chaos was part of the third annual DUMBO Drop, which plays on the neighborhood’s name while aiming to raise money for local schools.

Alexandria Sica, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District, said she came up with the idea based on suburban rubber duck races.

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“This was kind of our very DUMBO way of doing that kind of fundraiser,” Sica said. ““We have this amazing opportunity to work with our elephant imagery and really embrace that and have a lot of fun at the same time.”

Hundreds of spectators waited for the elephants to soar over to them. Unfortunately, the wind wasn't blowing in their favor.
Hundreds of spectators waited for the elephants to soar over to them. Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t blowing in their favor. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

The drop — which was followed by another, disco-themed version that featured lit-up elephants later in the night — was part of the improvement district’s third annual Washington Street block party. Events like toy elephant decorating, art exhibits and live performances took place throughout the night.

The top prizes for a guess-where-the-elephant-will-fall contest included a $1,000 shopping excursion in DUMBO and a party on a private rooftop. Funds raised supported neighborhood schools P.S. 307 and the Dock Street Middle School.

Tourists typically position themselves between parked cars when taking selfies in front of the perfectly-framed Manhattan Bridge, but the street was vehicle-free Friday night, giving plenty of space for the roughly 2,500 elephants to fly down.

Kids rushed to pick up the elephants after they had dropped onto Washington Street. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
Kids rushed to pick up the elephants after they had dropped onto Washington Street. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

“You get to see everybody just come out of the buildings and hang out on the street, so while it’s a big spectacular event, it’s also a very classic neighborhood block party and that’s half the fun for us,” Sica said.


This year’s event hosted more spectators than years past, and the DUMBO team was able to drop more than double the amount of elephants as last year.

The scene looking down from where the elephants were dropped from.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

The scene looking down from where the elephants were dropped from.

About 1,500 elephants flew in the first drop of the night.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

About 1,500 elephants flew in the first drop of the night.

The DUMBO team waits for the first drop atop a nearby rooftop.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

The DUMBO team waits for the first drop atop a nearby rooftop.

The drop was accompanied by percussion from a local drum line.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

The drop was accompanied by percussion from a local drum line.

This Dumbo impersonator caught the winning elephants in a bucket.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

This Dumbo impersonator caught the winning elephants in a bucket.

Staff members quickly cleaned the street after the drops.
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

Staff members quickly cleaned the street after the drops.

Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

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