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Everything you need to know before the launch of Elmer's Big Parade tomorrow

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 June 2019

Norman with Elmer enjoying some popcorn in the circle at the Regent theatre, Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Norman with Elmer enjoying some popcorn in the circle at the Regent theatre, Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk takes over Ipswich in one day's time, with thousands of visitors and millions of pounds expected to flow to the town.

139 elephants are now decked out and ready to be founf in Ipswich this summer Picture: RACHEL EDGE139 elephants are now decked out and ready to be founf in Ipswich this summer Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Elmer parade will follow in the trotter-steps of the 2016 Pigs Gone Wild trail, which attracted over 25,000 people to Ipswich and generated an additional £1million for the local economy.

Even better, it raised £200,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice - but supporters of the town and charity expect this year trail to bring an even greater boost.

Elmer has waited a long time but soon all 139 elephants can stampede into Ipswich for Elmers Big Parade Suffolk Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMSElmer has waited a long time but soon all 139 elephants can stampede into Ipswich for Elmers Big Parade Suffolk Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for the parade at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "This weekend is the culmination of more than two years' hard work for me so I am really proud to finally see our fabulous sculptures out and about brightening up the streets and open spaces of our county town.

"Not only have we got 55 amazing large Elmers but of course we've also got our Learning Herd, with 84 smaller sculptures all beautifully designed and painted by local schools and youth groups.

Elmer Elephants, before they were turned into parading Elmers, with campaign manager Norman Lloyd Picture: RACHEL EDGEElmer Elephants, before they were turned into parading Elmers, with campaign manager Norman Lloyd Picture: RACHEL EDGE

"We hope lots of visitors will come and see us in our brand new Elmer HQ, the perfect place to pick up a Parade Map and start your Elmer adventure!"

The designs of the 139 statues will be revealed early Saturday morning as the hospice team settle the elephants into their new homes.

Everyone is excited for Elmer - one child is actually turning into a patchwork elephant Picture: RACHEL EDGEEveryone is excited for Elmer - one child is actually turning into a patchwork elephant Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Terry Hunt, chairman of Ipswich Vision, said: "Through Pigs Gone Wild, there was an estimated spend of £1million in the town and most of the 25,000 people that visited went away with a more positive view of Ipswich.

"All of the best aspects of that trail will be repeated and expanded upon because this art trail is even bigger and better than the one before - those figures will be amplified.

Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk campaign manager, Norman Lloyd with a selection of Elmers ahead of the summer launch. Pictures: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICEElmer's Big Parade Suffolk campaign manager, Norman Lloyd with a selection of Elmers ahead of the summer launch. Pictures: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

"The opportunity Ipswich will have is to find ways to get people coming into the town in ways they usually wouldn't so they can find aspects of the town they have not experienced before."

The art trail launch comes as it was revealed Rodin's The Kiss has boosted attendances at Christchurch Mansion by almost 50% after arriving at the start of the year.

Artist Emma Graham and one of her four elephants at this year's Elmer's Big Parade Picture: LIZZY GRAHAMArtist Emma Graham and one of her four elephants at this year's Elmer's Big Parade Picture: LIZZY GRAHAM

And on top of that, the Ed Sheeran: Made In Suffolk exhibition opens in August as a prelude to the Suffolk superstar's four Chantry Park homecoming gigs and is again expected to bring a major boost to tourism in Ipswich.

Mr Hunt added: "It proves the quality of Ipswich to have three really big draws like these in less than a year."

Following Elmer's Big Parade is a great excuse to get outside and walking with the whole familyFollowing Elmer's Big Parade is a great excuse to get outside and walking with the whole family

COMPETITION: Win one-of-a-kind day out at Portman Road with an Elmer short story

Where can you find Elmer in Ipswich?

Millie Sadler with the Elmer's Big Parade sticker album, which was launched on the EADT/Ipswich Star stand at the Suffolk Show Picture: ARCHANTMillie Sadler with the Elmer's Big Parade sticker album, which was launched on the EADT/Ipswich Star stand at the Suffolk Show Picture: ARCHANT

The full-sized Elmers will be moved into Ipswich for the trail to start on June 15, but until then the designs are being kept under lock and key.

Many of them will appear close to or inside the businesses and buildings that sponsored them - so look out for the 'Ladyphant' design in and around Sailmakers' Shopping Centre, and 'Elephantom of the Opera' close to Suffolk solicitors, Birketts.

Max age six, who is fanatical about elephants and is so excited for the Elmer trail, all dressed up in his homemade Elmer outfit Picture: LOUISE REYNOLDSMax age six, who is fanatical about elephants and is so excited for the Elmer trail, all dressed up in his homemade Elmer outfit Picture: LOUISE REYNOLDS

The elephants will be spread right across Ipswich, so to find all of them will take a pair of comfortable shoes and a lot of walking to all Ipswich has to offer.

There are also 11 herds of the smaller Elmers dotted around the town, clustered together to make them easier to locate and enjoy.

The colourful Elmer's Learning Herd were a big attraction at the Suffolk Show, with all 84 designs by schoolchildren on display in one tent Picture: SUZANNE DAYThe colourful Elmer's Learning Herd were a big attraction at the Suffolk Show, with all 84 designs by schoolchildren on display in one tent Picture: SUZANNE DAY

You may also want to watch:

The Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk sticker and activity book contains a map to help you find all the statues, and you can also find this on the art trail app, available on Google Play and the App Store for £1.99.

Chris and Jack Rose with Race For Your Life's Elmer called 'Edna' in memory of Angela Rose, who tragically died from cancer earlier this year. Picture: CHRIS ROSEChris and Jack Rose with Race For Your Life's Elmer called 'Edna' in memory of Angela Rose, who tragically died from cancer earlier this year. Picture: CHRIS ROSE

READ MORE: Artist painting four Elmer statues at once

How can I get the sticker album - and how many stickers are there?

Elmer took a trip to the hairdressers, Francesco's hair salon, to make sure it was looking sharp for the start of the art trail on June 15 Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDElmer took a trip to the hairdressers, Francesco's hair salon, to make sure it was looking sharp for the start of the art trail on June 15 Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

You can pre-order your special souvenir sticker album and activity book online.

From June 15 the elephants will be on parade in Ipswich town centre and on the waterfront - and the sticker album contains every elephant you can find in Ipswich, with 10 of the elephants treated to their own shiny sticker.

Crafty Elmer days happened at dozens of libraries ahead of the art trail Picture: RACHEL EDGECrafty Elmer days happened at dozens of libraries ahead of the art trail Picture: RACHEL EDGE

If you pre-order the album, brought to you by the Ipswich Star and the East Anglian Daily Times, you can receive 20% off, plus free postage and packing.

Pre-orders have to be made by today, June 14.

Elmer the elephant even made some guest appearances, posing for photos with young readers Picture: RACHEL EDGEElmer the elephant even made some guest appearances, posing for photos with young readers Picture: RACHEL EDGE

There are 139 Elmers to find and the same number of stickers to collect.

From June 17, every copy of the Ipswich Star and EADT will also have a voucher for a free pack of stickers, worth £1.

Two designs of the full-scale Elmers are already public - will you see all 139? Picture: SAM DAWESTwo designs of the full-scale Elmers are already public - will you see all 139? Picture: SAM DAWES

Visit the Suffolk Store website and order your sticker album today.

READ MORE: Meet Edna - the Elmer in memory of an Ipswich mother who died from breast cancer

Carole Jones and Joanne Beattie with Elmer the Elephant at Christchurch Mansion - four statue can be found in Christchurch Park Picture: NICOLE DRURYCarole Jones and Joanne Beattie with Elmer the Elephant at Christchurch Mansion - four statue can be found in Christchurch Park Picture: NICOLE DRURY

Where can you spot the elephants?

Sailmakers Shopping Centre will host two full-sized Elmers and a Learning Her, making it prime Elmer spotting territory.

On April Fool's Day, Fred. Olsen's flagship, the Balmoral, joked that it would wear a patchwork livery to support Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk Picture: FRED. OLSENOn April Fool's Day, Fred. Olsen's flagship, the Balmoral, joked that it would wear a patchwork livery to support Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk Picture: FRED. OLSEN

The ladybird-inspiried 'Ladyphant' is sponsored by the shopping centre and 'Treasure Trunk' is backed by Shirley Shelley Contract Cleaners.

Manager Mike Sorhaindo said: "We're especially pleased to have so many elephants here thanks to the efforts of local schools.

The Coes window, featuring new Elmer display and ‘live mannequin’ Norman Lloyd. Picture: ELMER'S BIG PARADE SUFFOLKThe Coes window, featuring new Elmer display and ‘live mannequin’ Norman Lloyd. Picture: ELMER'S BIG PARADE SUFFOLK

"The last trail was a tremendous success for Sailmakers and the whole town in terms of getting children and families out and about in Ipswich, showcasing areas of the town they may not have traditionally visited before.

"It was a real boost for footfall to the centre and local tourism and we are extremely excited and pleased to be part of this great campaign yet again with our very sponsored Ladyphant.

"It's a fantastic idea because public art trails are a great way of engaging people, promoting businesses and most importantly at the end of it raising money for a worthy charity like St Elizabeth Hospice."

"We're delighted to be involved again with our very own Elmer because the Hospice are such a special part of life in the area and I'm sure the trail will again be a big success in showcasing what a great place Ipswich is."

And there will be plenty more to see around the town's main shopping area, plus you can drop into Elmer HQ in the Cornhill for stickers, merchandise and advice of completing the trail.

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