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Elmer the elephant unveiled as successor to Pigs Gone Wild for Ipswich in 2019

PUBLISHED: 08:07 26 October 2017

Elmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

Elmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

Archant

The eagerly-awaited follow-up to last year’s Pigs Gone Wild trail was unveiled at a special launch ceremony last night – with elephants set to stand proud around town in 2019.

Staff from St Elizabeth Hospice were joined by town leaders at Ipswich Town Hall last night, where the wraps came off the design for the 2019 trail, entitled Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.

The trail will be based on the popular patchwork elephant, and will feature the hospice joining forces with Wild In Art and Elmer publishers Andersen Press.

The launch of the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk trail in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN The launch of the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk trail in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Millar, St Elizabeth Hospice’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce our latest event Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk. Pigs Gone Wild was a huge success raising significant funds for the vital work we do at the hospice but also attracting over 250,000 visitors to Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront and contributing £1m to the local economy.

“The 2019 event, which coincides with both ours and Elmer’s 30th anniversary, is planned to be even bigger running for two weeks longer and with an anticipated 50 Elmer sculptures compared to the 40 pigs we had last time.”

Norman Lloyd, Terry Hunt, Mark Millar and Alwyn Nash with Elmer at the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk launch.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Norman Lloyd, Terry Hunt, Mark Millar and Alwyn Nash with Elmer at the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk launch. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Paul Black from Andersen Press said Elmer had “never been involved in anything this huge”.

The elephants will step into town in June 2019, where each uniquely decorated animal will be on display for 12 weeks and sponsored by local firms.

Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk patron, Terry Hunt giving a speech at the launch event. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk patron, Terry Hunt giving a speech at the launch event. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Thousands of families from across the region visited last year’s pig parade, where they were able to collect stickers and follow the app or map to find each creature.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said the trail “quite literally put Ipswich on the map”, while Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich, Paul West added that it had a significant economic impact which “showcases what’s good about Ipswich”.

Elmer is the character for the 2019 art trail around Ipswich, entitled Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS Elmer is the character for the 2019 art trail around Ipswich, entitled Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

Project manager Norman Lloyd said work was well underway in securing sponsors and trail locations, with a call out for artists set for next August.

Once again joining the 50 big sculptures will be 100 baby elephants decorated by children in the community, following the launch of the education programme in January 2018.

St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Mark Millar giving a speech at the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Mark Millar giving a speech at the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The three sculptures launched last night are on display at the Town Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm.

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Drivers are being warned the Orwell Bridge is likely to shut tonight until tomorrow morning due to forecast high winds.

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