Only six sculptures left to sponsor for Elmer’s Big Parade

Vice chancellor of the University of Suffolk, Richard Lister, with Norman Lloyd, campaign manager at

Vice chancellor of the University of Suffolk, Richard Lister, with Norman Lloyd, campaign manager at St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE - Credit: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Time is running out for businesses to be part of Suffolk’s next public art trail, which will see the county town decorated with colourful elephants.

Elmer’s Big Parade will take place in Ipswich next summer and organisers have revealed there are only six sculptures left for firms to sponsor, with 44 already snapped up.

The event is raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice, which supports Suffolk patients with progressive and terminal illnesses and their families.

Campaign manager Norman Lloyd said: “Way back at the beginning of this campaign I set myself a rather ambitious target to find 50 enthusiastic sponsors for our 50 super Elmer sculptures by summer 2018, 12 months before the trail begins.

“Last month I wasn’t sure we would be able to do it but with the recent flurry of new interest I’m now starting to think it might really be possible.”

The parade is a follow-up to the extremely successful Pigs Gone Wild trail, which attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich in 2016, boosted the local economy by an estimated £1million and raised £200,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The 2019 sculptures will be based on Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, the iconic star of a children’s picture book. The subtle message of the story is: It’s OK to be different.

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The University of Suffolk is one of the latest organisations to secure an elephant.

Vice chancellor Richard Lister, said: “We pride ourselves on being a community impact university and are delighted to sponsor an Elmer.

“Pigs Gone Wild was a great success in 2016 and we expect Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk next summer will be just the same, bringing local people and visitors to the town.

“When we signed up there were just 10 Elmer sculptures left, so I would encourage local businesses to show their support and to back this family-friendly project which is for a very important and worthy cause.”

Elmer’s Big Parade will once again be run in conjunction with public art event specialists, Wild in Art, as well as Elmer publisher Andersen Press.

The trail will be live in Ipswich from June to September 2019, bringing 50 large and 100 smaller Elmer sculptures created by schoolchildren to the town.

To get involved, visit the parade website.

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