They may have arrived a tad later than expected, but when the elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus finally did begin their march down Broad Street in Newark last night, they did not disappoint.
In fact, the pachyderms who jogged down Broad left one woman momentarily speechless.
“They’re just so …..,” said Newark resident Cheryl Coxson, turning to her friend, Rin McLaughlin.
“Amazing,” Coxson finally decided. “They’re amazing.”
Coxson and McLaughlin were among the few small knots of people lining Broad Street last night to await the “pachyderm parade,” which began near a rail yard in the eastern part of the city, continued up South Street and then through the heart of Newark along Broad to the Prudential Center. Performances will be held there March 1-4.
The pachyderm parade has been held for the last few years, ever since “The Greatest Show on Earth” returned to Newark in 2008.
Last night, about a dozen elephants were linked trunk to tail as they trotted north on Broad at a surprisingly brisk pace. Handlers jogged alongside the large but lovable beasts holding yellow cordon rope. The few bystanders on the street around 11 pm, when the brief parade began about 90 minutes past its scheduled start, were asked to stay on the sidewalk so as not to startle the elephants.
The elephants were then led to a holding area across Lafayette Street from the Prudential Center. Parked on Lafayette was a large trailer containing a few baby elephants, who were led into the holding area with the help of handlers and the elephants’ mothers.
Needless to say, the babies were a big hit too.
“Oh my God, I’m going to cry again,” one woman was overhead saying as a mama elephant nudged her tool shed-sized offspring along.
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