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Having never attended an Elephant Roundup or Buffet, I had little clue what to expect from two days at this, the largest event of it’s kind in the world.

With zero English information available, task one was to find it. After a few hours of wandering I discovered the party preparations, sound systems, stages, and a 300m long buffet table laden with fruits. But no elephants.

At 3pm a procession winds through the streets towards this central pinnacle, comprising florally decorated floats, big bands and a few token Thai ladies in skimpy outfits. But no elephants.

Day one of two, in fact, involved no elephants.

At 8am the next day an almost identical parade sets off along the same route. Almost, but with the key difference of 12 elephants.

They were graceful, crowd-pleasing, determined and – clearly – hungry. But 12? Perhaps ‘headcount’ would have been more appropriate than ’roundup’.

Arriving at the central square it seemed this dozen were in for an unrivalled feast when, marking the real start of the day, scores more elephants joined the party. Elephants, delighted visitors and festive music filled the streets for hours.

Games and competitions ensured that even those of waning interest remained entertained, and unlike the previous day, English announcement translations made the whole spectacle easily accessible.

The elephants, now thoroughly well fed, will go on to perform at shows over the weekend. If these opening days are anything to go by, I’m sure they will prove spectacular.

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