The elephants march into town, hurrah! Statues stomp into Manchester for endangered animal awareness

By Amy Betts

The world-travelling and colourful Elephant Parade will stomp into the Trafford Centre next week to raise public awareness for The Asian Elephant Foundation’s conservation work.

The parade is the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues, which will spend the next month in Manchester to raise funds for the conservation of the Asian animals.

The Parade has visited many cities around the world since 2007 but has partnered with Shopping mall owners intu as part of its national tour and will have 35 painted elephant statues dotted all around the centre.

Gordon McKinnon, regional centre director, said: “Elephant Parade has trail-blazed the way in combining fun with supporting an important cause, and their elephant statues have become iconic around the world.”

In aid of the parade coming to Manchester, intu wanted to give it a far bigger platform and take it to a whole new level.

With more than 30 million people visiting its shopping centres every year, intu wanted to use its size and scale to help spread Elephant Parade’s message to over half of the UK’s population.

Not only will the Parade be supported by a digital tour but they have invited local schools to submit their designs in hope of having a once in a life time opportunity to create an elephant to join the tour.

With over hundreds of entries, three worthy winners will have their elephant featured in the parade.

Mr McKinnon said: “We wanted to make this tour the people’s parade – to enable people from all walks of life to be part of an Elephant Parade.

“This festival of colour will unite the communities of Manchester and give people from all walks of life a reason to smile as the elephants bring moments of surprise and delight that will make a normal day out quite special.”

The tour aims to give a platform for established and new art talent, geared to represent the UK regions.

Lorna Green, an artist based in Manchester, will have her elephant ‘Sylvan Sparkle’ previewed at the parade

She said: “When I was first approached for Elephant Parade, I knew I wanted to make my elephant blingy, but it was while skiing down a tree line piste with the shadows of the trees broken.”

Picture courtesy of Choo Yut Shing via Flickr, with thanks.

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