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Win a special day out at Portman Road with Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 19:39 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:39 12 June 2019

A unique design in honour of Francesco's barbers will appear as if by magic in Ipswich on June 15 for the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A unique design in honour of Francesco's barbers will appear as if by magic in Ipswich on June 15 for the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

CHARLOTTE BOND

Elmer's Big Parade and an Ipswich barbers are giving four young Town fans the chance to lead the team out at Portman Road next season.

Elmer goes to the hairdressers ahead of Elmer's Big Parade coming to Ipswich and Suffolk in June 2019 Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDElmer goes to the hairdressers ahead of Elmer's Big Parade coming to Ipswich and Suffolk in June 2019 Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Francesco's, in St Matthew's Street near Ipswich town centre, is sponsoring an elephant as part of the art trail in support of St Elizabeth's Hospice, which will be revealed when the statues arrive in town on June 15.

But primary school children in Suffolk can already get creative with Elmer with a short story competition run by the hairdressers - with a top prize of a day out as an honoured guest with Ipswich Town.

Barber Ciro De Lellis said: "We started this competition with three schools nearby and the charity thought it was a good idea so they opened it up to all of the schools they're working with for the trail.

"We're looking for 500-word stories from the kids that have the title 'when the elephants arrive' somewhere in the story - it's open to interpretation so the more creative the better.

Francesco's barbers is offering a special trip to Portman Road to four young story writers inspiried by Elmer coming to Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDFrancesco's barbers is offering a special trip to Portman Road to four young story writers inspiried by Elmer coming to Ipswich Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

"We get a lot of kids in here, we're a family-friendly place, so we thought it was nice to do something to get the kids involved."

After the competition judges make their shortlist they'll pick four winners who will get an amazing opportunity to introduce Town at Portman Road at a game next season, as well as leading them out with a guard of honour and watching the game.

Mr De Lellis added: "There's an app that goes with Elmer's Big Parade and there's something you can scan on our Elmer.

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"We will have some prizes to give out to the kids that find that."

On Saturday 55 full-size Elmers designed by Suffolk's creative minds and 84 smaller Elmers - statues decorated by groups of school children in the county - will take over Ipswich and Suffolk.

Owner Francesco De Lellis said: "We're really excited to be part of the trail this year.

"The thing we noticed most about the last one was how it brought the community together and we wanted to be part of that this time.

The trail follows the success of the Pigs Gone Wild art trail in 2016, with some popular sculptures from the event still on display in town, such as Ipswich Building Society's pig near King's Street.

For now, the latest Elmer's identity remains a closely guarded secret - but the team at the barbers got to pose with the original Elmer before the big announcement later in 2019.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk, said: "Francesco's Hair Salon is a bit of an Ipswich institution and it is great for us to have them involved in the campaign."

The competition closes for judging on July 5.

Read all the details of the competition on Francesco's website.

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