What we know about Elmer’s Big Parade - Suffolk so far

PUBLISHED: 12:52 29 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:53 29 March 2019

Elmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS

Elmer the elephant will be the theme of the 2019 trail around Ipswich, named Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk. Picture: JACK SPICER ADAMS


Are you ready for Elmer? The loveable elephants will bring a splash of colour to Ipswich this summer but when and where will you find the painted sculptures?

Make sure you find the Astronaunt Elmer. Picture: SAM DAWESMake sure you find the Astronaunt Elmer. Picture: SAM DAWES

Adventurers will have 55 large Elmer’s to track down as well as 85 junior Elmer’s to spy out.

The adult Elephants will march their way to town parks and open spaces while the juniors will take residence in schools, shop and council-run buildings.

So when are the elephants set to stomp through the streets?

The creative trail will appear like magic on June 15 and will be attracting crowds until September. Once the parade is complete the delightful models will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the St Elizabeth Hospice.

The Imagination Can Take You Anywhere Elmer on Aldeburgh beach Picture: ADRIAN RAWLINSONThe Imagination Can Take You Anywhere Elmer on Aldeburgh beach Picture: ADRIAN RAWLINSON

Read more: Herd of elephants arrive for Elmer parade

So what is the story behind the tusks?

The Elmer parade will follow in the trotter-steps of the 2016 Pigs Gone Wild trail. The thrilling pig hunt attracted 25,000 people, brought a £1million boost to the economy and raised more than £200,000 for the St Elizabeth Hospice. This year it is hoped that the Elmer trail will do all that and more.

The St Elizabeth Hospice wants the parade to break down barriers and get across the message that a hospice is simply not a place where you go to die.

A spokesman for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We want to get across that the hospice isn’t a scary place.

“Ultimately we want people to come to the hospice and see the place so they know a hospice isn’t about death, we have relationships with people for years. We don’t let death kill life.”

Read more: The Elmer trail will help bust myths

What designs can we expect on the Elmers?

Details on where the Elmer’s will be located and what they will look like have been kept under wraps to build the excitement as we count down the days until the grand parade. However, there have been slight hints and snippets of what is to come. Let’s recap what we have seen so far.

Two of the 55 Elmer sculptures will have a rainy day theme connected to them.

Umbrelliphant and Wellie-phant are sure to make a splash with their clever attention to detail. Umbrelliphant, which was created by the talented Jenny Leonard, will have an umbrella on his bottom. Wellie-phant, who was painted by the superb Helen Smith, depicts a spectacular Elmer in Wellington boots.

Our Archant Elmer has a summertime theme and features a good-enough-to-eat ice cream design. Sign writer Rob Catterall designed the bold sculpture and painted it at Endeavour House. Read more about the Sundaes in Suffolk pattern.

We are unsure on how Birketts elephant will look but the name of the creation will be
‘Elephantom of the Opera.’

Deven Bhurke, who has worked on an array of sculptures in major UK cities, has been using his creative juices to paint
Sailmakers’ Ladyphant.

The 46-year-old said: “Ladyphant is inspired by one of the most common ladybirds, the black-on-red markings. Ladybirds are beneficial insects, managing garden pests, and with her striking red colour is bound to attract people of all ages.”

When the campaign first launched the public were shown three stunning looking Elmers.

They consist of a traditional style Elmer, an astronaut and a fairytale-inspired design featuring silhouettes against an ombre backdrop.
You can take a look at these here.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star