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Elmer's Big Parade pulls in crowds

Published5th July 2019

Thousands of people have already enjoyed the special trail of wacky elephants raising money for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, as it is more properly known, is the brainchild of fund-raiser Norman Lloyd and his colleagues at the hospice. The project is supported by the Borough Council.

Families and children of all ages are “bagging” elephants big and small – there are 55 big Elmers in total and 84 in the Learning Herd – and the school holidays and related activities haven’t even begun yet.

Here are some statistics that show just how popular the Elmer parade is proving …

  • Visitor numbers to the Museum and Christchurch Mansion have doubled to 13,593 in the first two weeks of the parade, equating to more than 1,300 across the venues each day.
  • More than 7,770 people have flocked to the Tourist Information Centre in St Stephen’s Church – nearly 5,000 to the Elmer exhibition area.
  • More than 1,000 a day have gone to Elmer HQ in the Town Hall at weekends, with almost 10,000 people in total.
  • A 750% increase in numbers to the Holywells park visitor centre – up to 3,272 since Elmer moved in during the middle of June.

Michelle Gordon, IBC economic development project manager, said: “We are delighted by the surge in visitor numbers and the impact the Elmer trail is having even before the start of the summer holiday. This trail is part of an exciting range of events coming up throughout the summer for families to enjoy.”

And there’s no doubt that the Crown multi-storey is proving to be the campaign’s “preferred” car park. Thousands more people are taking advantage of the free three hours of parking offer at Crown on Sundays. Alongside our £2 after 2pm offer on weekdays, there are lots of incentives to encourage visitors and shoppers into town this summer.