Using David McKee’s popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, the Parade is Maidstone’s first-ever public art trail. The beautifully decorated colourful elephants have all magically appeared around the town and form a trail of 51 in overall, with three walks totalling around six miles, all waiting for visitors to discover.
Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade - officially launched today Tuesday 22 June, will be in place until Sunday 22 August bringing colour and joy to the County Town and is an exciting trail for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
The first of the Council’s two elephants is called ‘Elmer’s Maidstone’ and can be found near the Town Hall, in Jubilee Square. The second ‘Mummyphant’ is located on the balcony area in Fremlin Walk, overlooking Maidstone Museum. ‘Elmer’s Maidstone’ depicts a bright illustrated map of the town and ‘Mummyphant’ pays tribute to the famous ‘Ta-Kush’ mummy in the Museum.
When visitors arrive at each sculpture, they will be able to claim a prize or reward by downloading the ‘Wild in Art’ app as each Elmer will have a unique app code. Once they tap the code in to their mobile device, it will reveal some rewards to be downloaded, fun trail statistics and family-friendly challenges.
Cllr Martin Round, Chair of the Maidstone Borough Council Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee is thrilled to see the elephant trail in the town, he said:
“Wow, these elephants are amazing! If you ever needed a reason to come into the town centre this is it. Come along to this free outdoor walking event and bring your friends and family to see these wonderfully decorated works of art.
“I feel it is a real privilege that the Heart of Kent Hospice has chosen our town to host the elephants. Like so many I spent much of the last few weeks of my father’s life sat with him and the Hospice and staff are very dear to me. I’m sure the Elmer parade will help provide a huge boost in funds to this extremely worthy cause.”
At ‘Elmer’s Maidstone’ sculpture visitors will be able to win a family ticket to Lockmeadow and ‘Mummyphant’ will be offering the chance to win a free ticket to see Father Christmas at Maidstone Museum.
Maidstone Museum is also playing host to a herd of six small Elmers which have all been designed by local school children. These will be displayed in the reception area and art gallery until the end of the trail and are free to visit.
All Elmers will be on show until 22 August when all will be rounded up for a farewell weekend where they can all be seen at Lockmeadow. This will run from Friday 3 September to Sunday 5 September.
Each elephant sculpture will then be auctioned on Thursday 9 September to further support the charity.
There are maps and a collection tin at Tourist Information Centre based in Maidstone Museum this week.