The Great DUMBO Drop

It's raining elephants!

Image of author Maureen
30. September 2019
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Since 2017, the neighborhood of DUMBO celebrates its community with an annual block party during which thousands of tiny toy elephants will be released from the roofs of Washington Street. We’ll share everything you need to know about the so-called “DUMBO Drop” here.


What is The Great DUMBO Drop?

The Great DUMBO Drop is an annual block party created for DUMBO locals. If you’re in the area during the event, expect to be entertained with live performances, a variety of food stalls and the famous “DUMBO Drop”, after which the street festival was named. Even though it all sounds like great fun, there’s more behind the street festival: a fundraiser. The collected proceeds from the DUMBO Drop will benefit local schools, which are actively participating in the festival.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, everyone is welcome to join the celebration. The more the merrier! It’s completely free to be part of the festival. Here’s what you can expect.

  • Elephants

Great DUMBO Drop

When the clock strikes 6 pm, the long-anticipated DUMBO Drop kicks off. Thousands of tiny toy elephants will fly onto Washington Street – one of the most photographed streets in New York City. The elephants, however, don’t expand their ears to fly like Dumbo the elephant himself. Instead, the toy elephants are equipped with little parachutes that let them glide onto the cobblestone street. Each parachute has been individually designed by local artists. There are so many of them that the entire drop lasts for about 10 minutes. It’s certainly the highlight of the annual street festival in DUMBO.

That’s still not all! You can also be participating in the DUMBO Drop competition. How? Those who donate $20 can adopt an elephant. The person whose elephant lands closest to a predetermined target wins a prize! Winning the main prize will entitle you to a $1,000 shopping spree in local stores. The second prize is an all-you-can-eat ice cream party at Oddfellows, followed by 6 free pies at Juliana’s Pizza for third place.

*The deadline to enter the competition is the day before the DUMBO Drop!

  • Food stands

DUMBO food festival

Where there is a street festival, there is food! At the Great DUMBO Drop, you’ will only find specialties from local restaurants, like Bread and Spread, Juliana’s Pizza, Westville, Time Out Market, Sugarcane and many more.

  • Activities for kids and adults

DUMBO Drop block party

Along Washington Street, you will find everything from games, face painting, art exhibitions, do-it-yourself workshops to photo machines ensuring you will be entertained for a whole evening.

  • Entertaining live performances

Events at Manhattan Bridge

The block party’s line up features everything forms local musicians, to school performances and cheerleaders. Be sure to check the schedule or you may miss a performance.

  • A wild after party

DJ at DUMBO Drop

Directly after the Disco Drop wrapped up, the After Party begins. Here, you can sing and dance all night until the end of the festival (or maybe even beyond).

Where does The Great DUMBO Drop take place?

The community festival is celebrated on Washington Street in DUMBO. Washington Street serves as a hotspot for the popular photo op of the Manhattan Bridge giving you perfect views of the Empire State Building through its arch. A major part of the street is closed off for the festival beginning early in the morning.

When will The Great DUMBO Drop take place?

The DUMBO Drop takes place every year in September. This year the event took place on Friday, September 27th. Officially, the festival starts at 4 pm and ends at 9 pm. If you plan to attend the DUMBO Drop next year, plan to spend a whole evening here. There’s enough to do to keep you entertained. Here is an example of this year’s events:

4 pm: Opening Ceremony
4:30 pm: Child-friendly entertainment
5:30 pm: Performance by PS 307 primary school
5:45 pm: Performance by Dock Street Middle School
5:55 pm: DUMBO Drop countdown with cheerleaders
6 pm: Great DUMBO Drop
6:20 pm: Drum music
7:30 pm: Disco Drop
8 pm: Archway After Party

Wait! What is the difference between the DUMBO Drop and the Disco Drop?

The Disco Drop is similar to the DUMBO Drop with the subtle difference that the elephants’ parachutes are now also illuminated resembling shooting stars dropping from the night sky.

About the author

Oh, how lucky I am… always at the pulse of the greatest city in the world – what could be better? New York City is my passion and I’m happy to be able to share my experiences along with insider tips and helpful tricks with you. With me by your side, you’ll never miss a beat!

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