Dragon Launched!
Over 100 folks come to see the Dragon hit Oriental's Duck Pond
May 18, 2004

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This is Page 1 of 3 of The Dragon Launch
(Our thanks to Ben Casey for providing most of the photos for this story)

och Ness watch out. Oriental’s got a dragon in its Duck Pond. 100 people turned out Saturday morning as the Dragon was set afloat and then anchored in the waters just off of The Bean.

The Dragon proudly points to windward.

If you’re looking in at the Harborcam shot, the Dragon is that shiny, glittering object in the middle of the Duck Pond.

Up close, it’s even more spectacular.

Oriental sculptor Gary Gresko worked for months on the ferro-cement dragon, fitting thousands of pieces of bright colored glass on to it’s undulating body.

Gary decided to use glass he says, because he wanted something that would glisten and catch the sunlight at different angles as it turned in the water. That happened immediately as the dragon was towed to the middle of the duck pond and made a couple of circles before the anchor was secured.

Gary, who claimed that he “just wanted it out of my studio” at the same time seemed heartened by the turnout of residents and visitors who stood by as the Dragon took its place in the water.

Folks start to arrive for a dragon launch...

This is the second dragon to call the Duck Pond home. In the mid-90’s a dragon emerged one New Year’s Eve, a surprise gift to the town from long-time resident Grace Evans. Gary Gresko says that they worked to keep it afloat for several years – even retrieving is after a hurricane floated it away -- but time, and some teenaged pranksters, took their toll on that dragon.

The Dragon arrives via pickup truck.

This new dragon is new and improved. Once again, Grace Evans was the catalyst in getting things started. One design change this time around is that the Dragon has a keel. And a sturdy Danforth anchor.

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