Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade is coming to Maidstone from Saturday, June 19

The countdown is on until a herd of brightly coloured painted elephants stomp into a Kent town.

The colourful parade of 51 Elmer sculptures will arrive in Maidstone on Saturday, June 19.

Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, is back for nine weeks from Saturday, June 19 until Sunday, August 22
Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, is back for nine weeks from Saturday, June 19 until Sunday, August 22

In aid of Heart of Kent Hospice the project brings David McKee’s popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant to life through an art trail with 51 unique Elmer sculptures designed by both local and national artists.

Visitors and residents will be able to explore three routes totalling around six miles and the trail will guide visitors through the town centre, across beautiful parks and along the county town's river path.

"Where's Elmer?" designed by the artist Martin Handford, was unveiled as the first companion set to join Elmer the patchwork elephant this summer
"Where's Elmer?" designed by the artist Martin Handford, was unveiled as the first companion set to join Elmer the patchwork elephant this summer

The easiest way to locate all the Elmers, say organisers, is to use the FREE official Parade app which will be available to download from Saturday (June 19). A hand illustrated map will also be available at key town centre locations across Maidstone.

The Parade will also include Elmer’s Learning Herd, which is made up of 30 small Elmer sculptures designed and painted by local schools and youth organisations from Maidstone and the surrounding areas, plus one special small Elmer designed especially for Heart of Kent Hospice.

Children in Maidstone have been getting creative designing Elmer sculptures for the Big Heart of Kent Parade this month
Children in Maidstone have been getting creative designing Elmer sculptures for the Big Heart of Kent Parade this month

David McKee said: “For over 30 years now Elmer has stood for accepting who you are and celebrating difference. We are all different, with so many differences, difference of colour, of accents, but also of size, shape and how we dress. The differences are what make the world so rich and its brilliant that we’ll celebrate that with Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade.

“I’m so excited by the thought of elephant sculptures being decorated by artists and children for the Parade. It will be fun both for the artists and the spectators who get to see them. But more than that it will be an enormous help to Heart of Kent Hospice to continue their important work. I can’t wait to see the sculptures on the streets of Maidstone this summer.”

David McKee, author of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is encouraging everyone to back the Heart of Kent Hospice's art trail
David McKee, author of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is encouraging everyone to back the Heart of Kent Hospice's art trail

The event is running until August before all Elmer sculptures will be put under one roof for the Farewell Weekend at Lockmeadow in Maidstone between September 3 and 5 and the larger sculptures go to Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade Auction on September 9.

To learn more about the event visit www.elmermaidstone.co.uk

For more suggestions of things to enjoy with the kids this summer visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

Share this story

Helpful links

© KM Group 2021