After the huge success of its ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ art trail last year St Elizabeth Hospice has officially launched its next event – ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’.
The trail, which is based on Elmer the patchwork elephant, the much loved character, has seen St Elizabeth once again join up with Wild in Art, who organised last year’s trail, and new partner Andersen Press who own the publishing rights to Elmer. The trail will run for 12 weeks in the summer of 2019.
At the launch event in Ipswich’s Town Hall, Mark Millar, St Elizabeth’s CEO, said:
“We are delighted to announce our latest event – ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’. ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ was a huge success, raising significant funds for the vital work we do at the hospice but also attracting over 250,000 visitors to Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront, and contributing £1m to the local economy.
The 2019 event, which coincides with both ours and Elmer’s 30th anniversary, is planned to be even bigger running for two weeks longer and with an anticipated 50 Elmer sculptures compared to the 40 pigs we had last time. It is great to once again be working with Wild in Art as they are one of the country’s top creative producers of high-impact, public art exhibitions and their experience was invaluable in helping us make ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ the success it was”.
Keen to support this important event for the county Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council have signed up as joint Supporting Partners for the trail. Ipswich Borough Council Leader David Ellesmere commented:
“We are proud to be a partner of St Elizabeth Hospice on its 2019 art trail project. The Pigs Gone Wild trail was a fantastic success and quite literally put Ipswich on the map. Now we want to ensure that its successor becomes at least as popular with both residents and visitors. Ipswich Borough Council is pleased to offer support for the hospice and wishes Norman Lloyd and his talented team every success. It might seem a fair way ahead but we are all looking forward to Ipswich going wild again in 2019.”
Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Ipswich, added:
“Suffolk County Council is delighted to be a supporting partner in the Ipswich Art Trail once again. We know from past experience that the event generates a significant economic impact for the town, showcases what’s good about Ipswich to audiences far and wide, and brings people and communities together. It’s also really effective in getting people active – an important factor for us as we aim to become the most active county in England. I look forward to another hugely successful art trail for Ipswich.”
Paul Black, PR Director at Andersen Press told us:
“In almost 30 years Elmer has sold over eight million books, and been translated into over 50 languages around the world – but he’s never been involved in something this huge, and for such a fantastic cause. Everyone at Andersen Press is delighted to be working with St Elizabeth Hospice and Wild in Art to bring this incredibly creative event to life.”
Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art, added:
“We’re excited to once again be working with St Elizabeth Hospice on this special event during their milestone year. By joining forces with Andersen Press and creating a blank 3D canvas inspired by one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, we just know that this big parade will have a big impact in Ipswich and beyond.”
Although the trail won’t be in place until June 2019 the preparation has well and truly started. Norman Lloyd, project manager of both ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ and now ‘Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk’ explained:
“Work has been underway for a good six months already with a number of sponsors for the trail secured and, such was the success of the pigs for those companies that got involved, we even have sculpture sponsors signed up without even knowing what our next theme was going to be.”
“We are looking for sponsors for 50 large Elmer sculptures, which will form the main part of the trail, and these will be joined by more than 100 junior Elmer sculptures – smaller, but crafted just as creatively, by children in local schools and community groups. The junior Elmer sculptures will be displayed in small herds in town centre stores and venues for the 12-week period. The launch of our education programme will begin in January 2018 and our call for artists to create the designs for the Elmer sculptures will be in August 2018.”