Flamingo Run

Flamingo Run is a convenience store that sells brand-name items including bottled beverages, groceries, school supplies, and snacks.

Flamingo Run


History of Flamingo Run

On the first day of classes in 1979, students on Bascom Hill were greeted by a sight of 1,008 pink flamingos! At 8:00 a.m. that morning, members of the legendary Pail & Shovel Party began planting the birds. The pink flamingo flock represented a celebration for the Pail & Shovel Party which won reelection to head the Wisconsin Student Association, the official student governing body. The Pail & Shovel Party’s vice president, Leon Varjian speculated that the flamingos were “blown north by Hurricane David.”

The Party's president, James J. Mallon, and vice-president, Leon D. Varjian, campaigned in the spring of 1978 student elections to convert the school budget into pennies to be dumped on the UW's Library Mall where students could use pails and shovels to take what they needed. The Party also promised to flood Camp Randall Stadium for mock naval battles, buy the Statue of Liberty and move it to Wisconsin, and change every student's name to Joe Smith, "so that professors in large lecture courses would know everyone by name."

Bring your pail of pennies to Flamingo Run for groceries, school supplies, nachos, hot pretzels, other snacks, and more!

September 1, 2009

30 years later, almost to the day, the Madison City Council voted to make the pink plastic flamingo, Madison's Official Bird. The new mascot was debated for five minutes, and then the Common Council voted 15-4 to make the plastic pink flamingo the official city bird.