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Cruise company marks 30-week countdown to Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:07 15 November 2018

Staff celebrate the 30th year of being in Ipswich with a familiar friend Picture: GREGG BROWN

Staff celebrate the 30th year of being in Ipswich with a familiar friend Picture: GREGG BROWN

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The staff at an Ipswich travel firm are celebrating their 30-year-anniversary in Ipswich alongside everyone’s favourite elephant - Elmer.

The Elmer herd grows as Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff  celebrate with him Picture: GREGG BROWNThe Elmer herd grows as Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines staff celebrate with him Picture: GREGG BROWN

This week staff at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines head office in Ipswich welcomed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant to their offices to mark their milestone and the countdown to Elmer’s Ipswich take-over.

Elmer’s Big Parade will see 50 uniquely designed Elmer sculptures taking over Ipswich town centre and Waterfront in 2019, raising funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Peter Deer, commercial director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Just as St Elizabeth Hospice will be doing in 2019, this year we at Fred. Olsen are celebrating our 30th year in Ipswich.

“After we were named as the 30th Elmer sponsor in February, it seemed only fitting to continue the ‘30’ theme by inviting Elmer to our office to mark 30 weeks to go until the trail begins.

“Our staff had a great day taking pictures with Elmer, with many even bringing in their children to pay him a quick visit.

“We are always so pleased to be able to support St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides such a vital service to our local community, and we can’t wait to see Elmer again during the trail next summer.”

Elmer spent the working day at Fred. Olsen House, with staff wearing their boldest and brightest colours and taking selfies with Elmer in return for a donation to St Elizabeth Hospice. The day raised £148 for the cause.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “The campaign is really gathering speed now and each week sees us crossing more exciting milestones off our list.”

It is hoped that Elmer’s Big Parade - Suffolk will rival the success of Pigs Gone Wild, which attracted as many as 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million.

Elmer The Patchwork Elephant was first published by Andersen Press in 1989 and has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, making the character a modern classic.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is a Norwegian-owned family business founded in 1848 which now operates under the fifth-generation of the Olsen family.

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