August 22, 2002
The attack of the pink flamingos occurred for the fourth straight year on Saturday night. The only casualties were those with delicate decorative sensibilities.
Since 1999, the residents of Gardner Drive in Cameron Station have been staging their "Flamingo Fling" in the midst of August's dog days. This year more than 60 people joined the annual block party, according to Doreen and Dick Walker, organizers and Gardner Drive residents.
"It all started when the developers of Cameron Station, in order to pacify some rather disgruntled new home owners, decided they would sponsor a landscaping contest and award the winner with a prize," Walker explained.
"In order to show our disdain for that idea, a bunch of us got these plastic pink flamingos and stuck them in our front yards as our contribution to the landscaping contest. The developer gave out prizes to those who did not put out the flamingos," she said.
This gave a sense of purpose to the rebels, and the party has grown from there. It is increasing not only in attendance but also in the scope of the decorations. There are now giant, inflatable flamingos at doorways; tiny flamingos in the trees; flamingo fences; and the long-established, renowned plastic flamingo yard prop.
Nancy Lockridge, whose Gardner Drive home served as the 2002 party headquarters, even had a neon flamingo in her living room window. "Party Central moves to a different home each year," she explained. The entrance to her garage was also adorned with green and purple plastic palm trees.
Kicking off about 7 p.m., the party goes for about three hours each year, Walker verified. To advertise the event and discourage drivers from using the street during that time, Lockridge and Cheryl Darby, next-door neighbor to the Walkers, placed pink, hand-decorated balloons at each end of the block.