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'It's going to be quite a spectacle' - herd of elephants arrive for Elmer parade

PUBLISHED: 07:45 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:11 15 January 2019

Campaigns manager Norman Lloyd with Elmer the patchwork Elephant. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Campaigns manager Norman Lloyd with Elmer the patchwork Elephant. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

With only five months to go, a herd of elephants is ready to march into Ipswich for the second art trail in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice - and this time it's going to be bigger and better than ever.

Campaigns manager Norman Lloyd with blank Elmer Elephants which will be painted by local artists.  Picture: RACHEL EDGECampaigns manager Norman Lloyd with blank Elmer Elephants which will be painted by local artists. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

There are now 155 colourful, brightly painted elephants based on the best-selling picture book favourite, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, which will take over the town’s parks and open spaces from Saturday, June 15.

Each one has their own individual design, dwarfing the number of pigs in the 2016 edition of the art trail, Pigs Gone Wild.

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk will raise crucial awareness and funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The elephants have recently arrived in Suffolk and are currently in storage in a Co-op warehouse, with about 50 blank Elmer the elephant sculptures now being sent to artists in Suffolk and beyond for decoration.

Meanwhile 100 smaller ‘young Elmers’ will soon have homes with schools, businesses and organisations which have made fundraising pledges for the project.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, said: “We are indebted to the East of England Co-op for allowing us to use one of their warehouses, as you can imagine 150 elephants take up quite a bit of space and Elmer HQ was definitely not up to the task.

“We are so excited for our parade and can’t quite believe it is actually this year. We are very pleased we could act on feedback received from Pigs Gone Wild and run the trail for longer this time, plus of course accommodating many more sculptures.

“Ipswich is in for a treat. We think it’s going to be quite a spectacle.”

Elmer Elephants waiting to be painted Picture: RACHEL EDGEElmer Elephants waiting to be painted Picture: RACHEL EDGE

This year’s trail, run in conjunction with Wild In Art and children’s publisher Andersen Press, follows on from the success of Pigs Gone Wild in 2016 - which lasted for 10 weeks, attracting 250,000 people to the town.

It brought with it a £1million boost to the local economy, as well as raising more than £200,000 for the hospice.

There were 39 large pigs, as well as a host of junior pigs sponsored by schools and businesses.

However this year those number will be dwarfed, with 55 large elephant models being used as well as 86 junior Elmers - dwarfing the 30 small pigs used in 2016.

Elmer Elephants.

Picture: RACHEL EDGEElmer Elephants. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

There are 14 young elephants that are yet to be sponsored.

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