DC at Night

DC at Night

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Pachyderm Parade Comes to Capitol Hill

Hey! Is that elephants on Capitol Hill?
If you were to consider elephants on Capitol Hill, chances are you'd envision those cartoon characters that have long been symbols of the Republican party. But tonight, there were literally a string of big elephants in front of the Capitol as a pack of pachyderms paraded down 3rd Street on its way to the Verizon Center, where the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus begins a 4-day stay on Thursday.

While the sparkly, blue-lit elephants were the big hit of the night, they were joined by Chinese acrobats, who will be featured in this year's Asian-themed performances titled "Dragon."

The streets near the Capitol were lined with youngsters who cheered the elephants and squealed with delight as clowns tossed trinkets and candy their way. My wife got excited when she was able to pick up 4 small rings for our 2 grandchildren. But, of course, this being Capitol Hill, only half of the rings worked. There was no word if the Sequester had caused the negative impact on the failed toys.

At the end of the short parade were 2 street sweeping vehicles to take care of any elephant droppings. Now if it were only that easy to clean up the rest of the mess on Capitol Hill.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Obviously, the youngsters and the parents who brought them to the night-time circus parade liked what they saw. But, this being Washington, the nation's capital of division and derision, not everyone feels the same way. Although it took no action tonight, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has vowed to protest the circus when it opens. Last month, PETA installed a "weeping elephant" statue outside its office on 16th Street to highlight the methods with which Ringling Bros. treats its elephants. But one woman decided to start her protest early. She walked up and down the streets in a sweatshirt bearing the slogan "If you like animals, don't go to the circus."

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