A national celebration of popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Elmer Day encourages everyone to wear their brightest clothes and turns the whole country patchwork with events up and down the country.
Created by David McKee, Elmer was first published by Andersen Press in 1989. Since then, Elmer’s iconic patchwork and playful character have made him a firm favourite in millions of households across the world. Elmer encourages children to accept others’ differences and practice tolerance and kindness.
It’s 15 years since our event partner St Oswald’s Hospice opened a Children’s Service, and to mark the milestone they’re holding a birthday party on Sunday 20 May. Ahead of Elmer Day and just before Children’s Hospice Week, young people and families the hospice supports will be greeted at the party by a colourful sculpture from Elmer’s Great North Parade. One of the first to be created for next year’s Tyne & Wear public art trail, it’ll help them kick start the games, face painting, music making and a whole host of other sensory experiences.
If you’re browsing at Waterstones in Plymouth’s Drake Circus during the long bank holiday weekend (26 – 28 May), you just might spot another 1.1m tall Elmer sculpture! You can also take part in storytelling, craft and other Elmer-themed activities in libraries across Plymouth.
Elmer has emerged from the pages of the book series to share stories written and illustrated by the Devon-born artist. The brightly decorated sculpture is one of 40 that will weave their way across the city, green spaces and spectacular coastline in 2019 for Elmer’s Big Parade Plymouth, raising funds for St Luke’s Hospice.
Over in Suffolk, there’s a big set of feet heading over to Ipswich County Library. From Saturday 26 May look out for a patchwork elephant sculpture making this library’s Elmer events extra special.
Following fun in the library, two elephant friends will join Elmer on 30 and 31 May at the Suffolk Show. Sculptures painted by artists Mik Richardson and Lois Cordelia will be with Elmer and the BBC Radio Suffolk team. Come along to the stand, collect an Elmer sticker, and take a closer look at the first sculptures to be painted for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, next year’s art trail with St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and around.
Find out what’s happening in your area or add the Elmer event you’re holding to the map at elmerday.co.uk.