FLOmingos on Bidwell Parkway set new Guinness World Record

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Buffalo has landed in the record books again!

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy secured its place with the Longest Line of Garden Flamingos.

Thursday morning, volunteers lined the lawn ornaments up beak to beak and tail to tail, forming a 2,018 foot line on Bidwell Parkway for the World Record attempt.

The flock of flamingos, or the flamboyance, as that’s technically called, created quite the sight for local residents.

“I think is wonderful!” said Carolyn Raeke, who stopped by to take photos. “I’m just disappointed they’re not going to all take flight.”

Volunteers did their best throughout the morning to make sure the flamingos stayed put. To count for the record, the flamingos had to be touching, and there had to be a whole lot of them.

The previous record was set on an island off South Carolina at 1,058 flamingos in a line. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy crushed that number.

“We do have 1,500 flamingos and a new Guinness World Records title!” announced Phillip Robertson, the official Guinness World Records adjudicator brought in to measure the line.

Volunteers spent hours Thursday getting that line perfectly in place, with the early birds arriving before 6 o’clock to start.

“Our first job is to put the legs in the flamingos and it’s a challenge,” said one volunteer, Kathleen Alfano, as she struggled to get the metal legs through the plastic on the underside of the flamingos.

All of the hard work paid off though, when the official measurement got underway.

Everyone who gathered at Bidwell Parkway for the event cheered when the adjudicator passed the previous record number and when he reached the 1,500 flamingo mark.

” I think pink is what I think!” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, adding that the lawn flamingo has become a symbol of environmental stewardship.

The flamingos that helped secure a place in the record books this week are extra special. Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy leaders say they’re FLOmingos, in honor of famed landscape-architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s initials.

Buffalo is celebrating 150 years since Frederick Law Olmsted came to Buffalo to begin developing the first urban park system here. The Parks have a full schedule of events to mark the anniversary.

“We’re just having some fun today, we’re trying to break a world record. And we have some activities that are happening in August, we’ve got our gala in September at Front Park, and we’re even working with the History Museum to put on a 150th exhibit that will run from September to December,” Crockatt said.

Western New Yorkers are invited to take home a piece of history from the successful World Record attempt.

Through 7 p.m. Thursday, you can stop by the Olmsted Parks tent at the corner of Bidwell Parkway and Elmwood Avenue to “adopt” a flamingo to take home. One flamingo costs $10, two cost $15, or you can get two for free if you purchase an Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy membership.

Any flamingos that don’t get adopted will be recycled into a material that will be used to create a bench or table for the parks.

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