FLOATmingos commemorate world record anniversary for Buffalo Olmsted Parks

Wake Up

If you’re near Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park this weekend, you’ll be seeing pink.

Two giant inflatable flamingos are floating in the center of the lake through Sunday. 

Crews filled them with air Friday morning, as the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy marked the one-year anniversary of its successful world record attempt for the longest line of garden flamingos.

On June 21, 2018, 1,500 lawn flamingos were set up in a row 2,018 feet long along Bidwell Parkway, as part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted coming to Buffalo to begin designing the country’s first urban park system. 

“It was colorful, it was fun, and we could take advantage of one of the parkways that doesn’t always get a whole lot of attention, so doing it in Bidwell Parkway was great,” said Stephanie Crockatt, the executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. 

Now, 151 years after Olmsted came to Buffalo, Conservancy leaders have named one of the two inflatables in the flamingo fleet Fred in his honor. The other is being called Calvert, in honor of Calvert Vaux, the architect who designed the buildings in the Buffalo Olmsted Parks system.

The pink partners are meant to attract people’s attention as they float on Hoyt Lake.

“I hope it puts a smile on their face, really,” Crockatt said. “I hope it makes them appreciate just how much fun the Conservancy has in taking care of this wonderful system and just that they’re proud of their parks.”

“Proud like a flamingo,” she laughed.

For insurance reasons, you can’t ride the flamingo floats while they’re out on the water this weekend. 

But, you can get an up close look if you rent a rowboat or paddle boat. Rates are $10 for half an hour or $15 for a full hour. 

“It should be a good weekend. Hopefully a lot of families come out, usually that’s our biggest customer,” said boat master Paul Koessler, who handles the boat rentals. 

After this weekend, the floats will come off the water and be deflated, to be ready to move to their new homes.

Two lucky winners will be able to put the FLOATmingos in their own pools or yards, if they win a raffle. 

Raffle tickets are $10 for one or $20 for three and are available online now. 

The raffle drawing will be next Friday. 

Each winner will receive one Giant Flamingo Float and a variety pack of beer from Community Beer Works, Labatt USA and Resurgence Brewing Co.

All of the money from the raffle entries will support the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. 

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