‘Worcester’s Big Parade’ has been one of the highlights of this Summer’s activities within the Three Counties. Brilliantly organised and brought to our county by St Richards Hospice, these decorative (almost magical) elephants stomped into Worcester City Centre on the 12th July.  
For the last 5 weeks, Worcester has proudly homed 6 miles worth of 66 wonderful elephants that have become Worcestershire’s pride and joy. 
Not only does each elephant represent a thoughtful message, or a local artist or school; Worcester’s Big Parade has created a far greater message…“What’s the elephant in the room?” Which addresses the importance of discussing mental health issues. 

What Can You Do? 

Paul and I hugely applaud St Richard’s Hospice on the delivery of their well thought through campaign. They have made this art trail enjoyable for all ages and we would particularly like to use this blog to highlight the following activities that Worcester’s Big Parade have utilised so well to send out their message… 
1. Worcester’s Big Parade Shop 
Worcestershire’s best crafters have had needles, paints and other crafting tools busy for months leading up to the arrival of Worcester’s Big Parade. The shop is full of homemade elephants kindly donated to this great cause. You can also find printed mugs, t-shirts, pens and bags but most importantly, a trail map! 
Our 3 year old Charlie, making a plan of our trail using the map 
2. There’s an App! 
Yep, we bought the app, as well as the map! The ability to scan the code on each elephant is incredibly satisfying, you have an automatic count of how many elephants that you have found, the details of each elephant… AND YOU CAN COLLECT BONUSES! 
Having just opened up the app this evening, I can see that a staggering 152,511 elephants have been scanned in and the overall favourite elephant voted by app users is ‘We are the Music Makers’ (the mirror mosaic elephant outside Crowngate)! 
3. Computerised Elephant Holographic Machine 
What appears to be a 3D model of a black and white room inside a house, placed behind a glass screen then transforms into one of the cleverest automated experiences that I’ve ever seen. 
Comment from Ali:- “We were walking through Chapel Walk, following some elephant footprints into the centre of Crowngate and was lead to a large colourful structure with screens and computerised panels. However, what took my instant interest was a clever 3D model presented behind a glass screen. It was made entirely with black ‘cardboard’ (it looked like some sort of board) with thin white lines painted on it to accentuate items that created the appearance of a room in a house. I watched as a young girl used the computerised panel and magically, a digital elephant appeared in the room and started to move around the objects. To my astonishment, this elephant had been designed by the girl on the app, who had then uploaded it onto the holographic machine!! Its extremely impressive…I have never seen anything like it before!” 
4. Paint an elephant at Worcester Porcelain Works. 
If you have been to a pottery painting workshop before then you’ll know all too well the endless fun it is to choose you porcelain model, paint it, have it fired in the kiln and finally be presented with your artistic masterpiece. 
Miniature, undecorated, ornamental elephants have arrived at Worcester Porcelain Works and are waiting to be carefully painted and given a print by you. This is a perfect wet weather solution or even for a couple of hours relaxation time with the children, creating new elephant designs. 
5. Worcestershire Schools and Local Groups are involved! 
A total of 36 elephant calves have been lovingly designed by a local school or group before being returned to them at the end of the parade. You will find most calves dotted around Crowngate Shopping Centre, Worcester but a few others have been positioned carefully into some shop windows. We love that Worcestershire children have had the opportunity to paint elephants that feature in the parade- what a proud moment that is. 
Charlie with his favourite elephant calf 
Our baby elephant, Megan, asleep after a day of elephant searching in Worcester 
Worcester’s Big Parade sadly disappears from Worcester City Centre on Sunday 3rd September. 
Paul, I and the children have accumulated 3 wonderful days of trailing 66 elephants (which would normally total approx. 16,000 steps). Having a 3 year old and 1 year old meant that we decided to spread out our experience but I have to say that while we have been searching, we have been approached by families who don’t live in the city who have visited Worcester specifically for the parade. 
Our friends and family from all across the Three Counties have visited Worcester at some point during this Summer especially to see Worcester’s Big Parade. And now we are near the end of August, the elephants still look as immaculate as they did on Day 1 of the parade. 
For more information about Worcester's Big Parade and St Richard's Hospice, visit www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk and www.strichards.org.uk 
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