Pink Flamingo Day is a holiday that is celebrated in the United States on May 23 every year to acknowledge the popular lawn ornament. Pink flamingos are used as decorations in many homes and gardens. Usually made out of plastic, the birds are most popular among working-class homeowners. Eventually, due to saturation, they were considered a bit tasteless. Some people had issues with them because they were unnatural and mass-produced. They argued that they were detrimental to the environment. The pink flamingos have now become a symbol of rebellion, irony, and contradiction.
History of Pink Flamingo Day
Pink Flamingo Day is observed annually in the United States on June 23. Why celebrate the occasion, you might ask? Well, it’s a fun way to appreciate the pink flamingos used as garden decor. They are a staple icon in pop culture and are popular among working-class homeowners. The pink flamingo was designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone from photos in “National Geographic.” It was one of the first projects he worked on at Union Products in Leominster, Massachusetts. He was a sculptor fresh out of art school hired by the company to create 3D plastic lawn and garden ornaments. He named the first pink flamingo Diego, and his design won him the Ig Nobel Prize for Art in 1996. He died at 79, only a few hours before Pink Flamingo Day.
The meaning of the pink flamingo has changed somewhat over the years. It was considered at one time a symbol of bad taste. In 1972, a director called John Waters released the movie entitled “Pink Flamingos.” It became infamous for its outrageousness featuring a drag queen and carrying the tagline “An exercise in poor taste.” By 1980, avant-garde galleries seized on the concept and started to display flamingo-themed installations. Baby boomers could be seen carrying pink flamingos across Europe in their backpacks. They also kayaked with them through the wilderness.
Around the 1990s, the plastic pink version became popular as housewarming gifts. The pink flamingo has different meanings to different people. It represents an influential part of popular culture. It has become a symbol for showing a sense of humor, crossing boundaries, and for those daring to be different.
Pink Flamingo Day timeline
Don Featherstone creates the pink flamingo while working at Union Products.
The production of the flamingos is stopped by Union products.
Dean Mazzaralla, Leominster's mayor, establishes June 23 as Pink Flamingo Day.
Cado manufacturing purchases the copyright for the flamingoes and continues to produce them.
Pink Flamingo Day FAQs
How do flamingos live?
Flamingos congregate in mudflats or lagoons. This is where they can find shallow saltwater prey to eat.
How do flamingos eat?
The birds feed by using their feet to stir up mud. They use their beaks to scoop up mud and water and then strain creatures out of the mud. Flamingos eat with their head upside-down.
Are flamingos born pink?
Flamingos are not born pink. Their chicks are born white or gray and they have fluffier plumage that keeps them warm.
Pink Flamingo Day Activities
Get a pink flamingo
Get a pink flamingo and add it to the decorations in your home. It is a fun way to add color and vibrance to a space.
Take pictures with them
Find a lawn or garden that has pink flamingos. Take lots of fun pictures of flamingos and share them with your friends — include a few selfies.
Donate to a charity or organization that takes care of birds. There are bird sanctuaries that provide support for animals.
5 Interesting Facts About The Flamingo
There are different species
Flamingoes have six different species that can usually only be distinguished by a trained eye.
Flamingos are tall
Flamingoes are tall birds that stand about four to five feet tall.
Their color comes from food
Flamingos get their pink color from beta-carotene in the plankton and crustaceans that they eat.
They can turn white
Zoo flamingos can turn white if they do not eat foods containing carotenoid pigments.
Flamingos have black feathers
The feathers under the wings of flamingos are black and can be seen when they are flying.
Why We Love Pink Flamingo Day
They live in flocks
There is safety in numbers. Flamingos are gregarious animals who prefer to live in larger flocks as this helps keep them safe from predators.
They are fast
Flamingos are very fast for a land bird. A flamingo can reach a speed as high as 35 miles per hour.
They are monogamous
Flamingoes are considered to be monogamous. The birds are known to lay only one egg each year.
Pink Flamingo Day dates