BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — There’s an old saying in Baton Rouge: The early bird gets the bird.
Organizers from the city’s Spanish Town neighborhood surprised the public with two dozen plywood pink flamingos Monday at University Lake. The birds’ unannounced arrivals meant that anybody who wanted to take one home had to think quick on their feet — or boat.
“It’s definitely a badge of honor to grab one of these,” said LSU doctoral student Clay Turner, who collected his first flamingo last year.
The tradition of leaving wooden flamingos dates back to 1996, signalling preparations for the annual Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade.
Organizers previously dropped the carved birds in the adjacent City Park lakes, though algae concerns changed their plans.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Deborah Trahan, a Baton Rouge resident who snatched her first flamingo Monday. “I might have to put some glitter on it, because you know us Spanish Town girls are glitzy like that.”
Spanish Town’s 40th annual Mardi Gras parade is Feb. 20. Move over, “hindsight,” because this year’s theme is “hiney-sight is 2020.”