Family life on LA's Westside


Dana Point Hosts Elephant Parade

Exhibit Displays Herd of Baby Elephant Sculptures Painted by Artists and Celebrities

If you thought whales were the biggest animals to watch in Dana Point, get ready for a spectacle of huge proportions as Dana Point hosts the Elephant Parade: Welcome to America, on display until November 17.  Don’t worry, animal lovers, this is not a show of live elephants.  These beautiful creatures are life-size painted works of art, designed by artists and celebrities, with proceeds of the open-air exhibit benefiting the Asian Elephant Foundation (TAEF), a charity dedicated to the welfare of the Asian elephants.


Visitors to Dana Point can view 80 of the baby elephants of the full herd, which has traveled worldwide from London, Singapore, Milan and Amsterdam.

Seven of the creations recently traveled to Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE for a two-day stint just outside Wells Fargo Private Bank, the parade’s Grand Patron sponsor.

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The custom created sculptures were painted by artists, celebrities and pop icons including Khloe Kardashian, Andre Miripolski, Sona Mirzaei, Laura Seeley, Lily Tomlin, Cesar Millan and Chor Boogie.  Other artists who have contributed to the worldwide exhbit include Sarah, Duchess of York, Diane von Fürstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Peter Beard, Goldie Hawn, Ricky Gervais and Katy Perry. Image

Elephant Parade was founded in 2006 by father and son team, Marc and Mike Spits. While on holiday in Thailand, Marc was introduced to a baby elephant named Mosha, who became the world’s first elephant to be fitted with a prosthetic limb after stepping on a landmine.

“We’ve created a social enterprise built on a successful model of art, business and charity resulting in very tangible, timely preservation efforts,” commented Mike Spits, co-founder of Elephant Parade. “If we don’t take action now, the Asian Elephant could become extinct in just a few short decades.”

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The local arts community and the Resorts of Dana Point, including The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, St. Regis, Monarch Beach, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Doheny Beach and Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, have embraced the project, which is attracting visitors nationwide to the shoreline Southern California shoreline destination.

Art aficionados can bid on the original creations at auction November 17 or purchase half-sized tribute pieces.  For fans with a little less space, three-and-a-quarter-inch souvenir replicas are selling for as little as $31.  Funds raised through all efforts will support the Elephant Parade, which to date has raised more than $5 million for the conservation of the majestic mammals. Image

For a map of where the elephants are displayed, guides on where to stay in Dana Point or other information on the Elephant Parade, go to

Stampede: (from left to right) Rob Koscelnik, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Doheny Beach-Dana Point; Mike Spits, founder, Elephant Parade; Bruce Brainerd, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel; Johnny So, St. Regis Monarch Beach; Jim Samuels, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa.