Have you herd? A whole host of elephants have arrived in the North East. You might well remember the terr-woof-ic Great North Snowdog Trail that took place across the region in 2016 – now you can go in search of a herd of elephants inspired by Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by author and illustrator David McKee. This autumn, you have 11 weeks to discover 50 Elmers and over 110 little elephants which make up Elmer’s Great North Parade 2019 – and the best thing is, the public art trail is free!

Elmer's Great North Parade in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East 2019

  • What is Elmer’s Great North Parade?

The Great North Elmer Parade is a celebration of diversity, colour and a rather famous elephant’s 30th birthday. The free, family-friendly activity is chance to explore Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider region whilst finding new attractions you may never have visited. Organised by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice in partnership with Wild in Art, the Great North Elmer Parade is a creative public art trail packed with a herd of Elmer sculptures. Follow the herd on a tour of the region from beaches to city centres via parks, the Tyne Tunnel and attractions; a brilliant family activity during a weekend in Newcastle and Gateshead or as part of half term fun.

Make sure you leave time to meet the whole herd... Each elephant - whether part of the Big Herd or Little Herd, has their own name and has been individually designed and painted by a raft of talented artists. The mini Elmers are the creative genius of schools and youth groups from across the region. We've scattered a handful of our favourite elephants that have been shared on Instagram so far throughout this post.

  • How long do I have to do the Elmer Trail?

Elmer’s trail runs from 21 August – 1st November 2019 so you have 11 weeks to find all the individually designed elephants on the trail. There will be a Farewell Weekend for visitors to say goodbye to their favourite Elmers before they are auctioned at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 12 November 2019 to raise money for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice and find the elephants a new, forever home.

  • Where can I find Elmer in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East?

Well that would be telling! We don’t want to spoil the fun of finding your Elmers but we will tell you that they are scattered across the region from Newcastle, Wallsend, Sunderland, Roker, the Quayside, Newcastle Racecourse, the coast and beyond.

  • Getting Around to Find Elmer

There is a special Elmer Map to help you get around or download the official Great North Parade, Elmer App. Many of the Elmer’s can be found a short walk from a Metro station so why not hop on the Metro and discover more of the North East while you’re at it?

  • Are there any other Elmer activities and events for families?

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books have an exhibition dedicated to David McKee, author and created of Elmer. Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David Mckee Exhibition celebrates 30 years of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and showcases original drawings, finished artwork and draft manuscripts from the world-famous Elmer series as well as other popular stories by David McKee such as Mr Ben and Not Now, Bernard. The original exhibition is on display until February 2020 and a family ticket to the National Centre costs from £23.10.

Keep an eye out for St Oswald’s Themed Weeks to help you learn more about the Hospice and bring to life the colourful elephants.

What are you waiting for? Meet the whole herd who have stompety-stomped into town to take up their positions along the Great North Parade. Don’t forget, this imaginative trail of public art needs to be looked after.

To make sure the Elmers big and small are still worthy of Best in Show at the final auction, please don’t climb on the elephants on parade #ProtectTheHerd




Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply