By Andrea Papagianis
City council voted on Tuesday to bring the international Elephant Parade—a public art exhibit aimed to promote awareness and support the conservation of Asian elephants—to the city this fall.
With strong support from the Dana Point Tourism Business Improvement District—or TBID—the council approved, in a 4 to 1 vote, the $150,000 contract on the group’s behalf. City Manager Doug Chotkevys assured the council that the money would come directly from TBID’s $3-a-night bed fee and not the city’s general fund.
For eight weeks this fall, painted elephant statues standing five-feet tall will be placed throughout the city. The event will culminate with a gala and auction, where funds from the artwork sold goes to the Asian Elephant Foundation and participating artists.
Councilman Bill Brough cast the one dissenting vote.
“I’d like to see TBID more focused on the beach and the whales,” Brough said. “We could do this for condors or endangered kelp.”
The exhibition—slated to start in October—will be the Elephant Parade’s first U.S. appearance. Past cities to host the display include Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Milan and Singapore.
For more information on the exhibition and to view past elephant sculptures, visit www.elephantparade.com.