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02 Jul 2019
Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth, which will raise funds for St Lukes Hospice, officially launched on Tuesday 2 July at a special preview evening, where all the Elmer elephant sculptures were revealed to sponsors and artists for the first time.
Many of the Elmer elephants along the trail are on or near bus routes, and the hope is that thousands of visitors and residents will be encouraged to follow the trail by walking, cycling and using public transport to see them, take selfies and strive to visit as many as possible.
The Parade of 40 unique sculptures, lovingly painted by established and emerging artists, will spread a smile across Plymouth and surrounding areas for ten weeks starting on Monday July 8 and running through to September 16.
Each is sponsored by a local organisation, with the region’s leading bus operator Stagecoach South West, the Presenting Partner.
The free, family-friendly event is a collaboration between St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, Wild in Art and Andersen Press and is expected to attract 250 thousand visitors to Plymouth and surroundings, as well as encouraging local people to get outside to discover new areas as they find each Elmer.
Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West said: “We are thrilled to be Presenting Partner and supporting such a wonderful charity. We will be working to help raise awareness of Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth and the incredible work done by St Luke’s, and of course help raise vital funds. We work to support a range of local community causes in the South West, the very communities we help bring together
through our local bus services. It’s fantastic to see the excitement about the trail already starting to build and we are delighted to be backing such a fantastic and worthwhile fundraising campaign.”
David McKee, the Devon-born author and illustrator behind Elmer attended the VIP launch to meet the parades sponsors and artists.
St Luke’s Chief Executive, Steve Statham, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to see everyone get out and about across our city’s iconic locations to follow the herd. Along the way, they’ll learn more about the outstanding care and support St Luke’s provides for patients at home, in hospital and at our specialist unit at Turnchapel.
“We believe everyone deserves to live well to the end, and it’s only thanks to the kindness of our community that we can sustain our service, being there to make a difference and helping families through the most challenging of times.
“The support of local businesses such as Stagecoach South West is a critical part of this, and the way they’ve got behind Elmer’s Big Parade as sponsors is fantastic.”
The grand finale of Elmer’s Big Parade will be an Elmer auction to raise funds for St Luke’s.
The official trail map is available to download via the App Store, Google Play or available in print at local tourist information and St Luke’s charity shops.