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Fred.Olsen announced as 30th sponsor for 2019 Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 19:47 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 21:18 20 December 2017

Supporters celebrate Elmers Big Parade Suffolk milestone at the Sailmakers Shopping Centre. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Supporters celebrate Elmers Big Parade Suffolk milestone at the Sailmakers Shopping Centre. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Momentum is building for Ipswich's next public art trail, which will see a herd of colourful elephants scattered across the town.

Elmer the elephant gets a hug from campaign manager Norman Lloyd. Picture: GREGG BROWNElmer the elephant gets a hug from campaign manager Norman Lloyd. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has been announced as the 30th company to sponsor a sculpture for the 2019 project organised in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Following on from the success of the Pigs Gone Wild trail last year, the next event will bring 50 large and 100 little Elmer the Patchwork elephant statues to Ipswich.

Supporters gathered at Sailmakers Shopping Centre in the town centre yesterday to celebrate the milestone, which is entwined with playful coincidences.

As well as being the hospice’s 30th anniversary, 2019 will be Elmer’s 30th birthday and marks 30 years since Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines arrived in Ipswich.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “It is fantastic to have Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines on board, I really laughed when I realised that they’d confirmed as our 30th sponsor – you couldn’t plan such a thing if you tried.

“It’s a brilliant milestone to reach after just a couple of months since the launch and we are very excited by this.

“Our target is 50 sculptures and the first few months of next year will be spent following up the interest that has been shown and securing sponsors for the last 20. The earlier companies get on board the greater value they will get from their sponsorship as the preparations for the trail build.”

The 2019 project is named Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, and organisers hope it will rival the success of Pigs Gone Wild, which brought 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and an estimated £1million to the local economy.

Pictured with Elmer is Nikki Brown. Picture: GREGG BROWN
Pictured with Elmer is Nikki Brown. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Peter Deer, commercial director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are always delighted to support St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides an important service to our local community, and for many years now our staff have engaged in a wide variety of activities to raise funds for this excellent charity. Elmer is new to us and we do hope that you can give our elephant a great start in life.”

Once a statue is sponsored by a company, a local artist is picked to design it.

To find out more about getting involved, email info@elmersbigparadesuffolk.co.uk or telephone 01473 723600.

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