Hamilton was overrun by a herd of safari animals as The BIG Stampede officially charged into town yesterday!
The highly anticipated event brings over 100 colourful sculptures including elephants, lions, gorillas, giraffes, rhinos and baby hippos to spend their summer in the Lanarkshire town.
Organised by Hamilton Business Improvement District (BID) and Wild in Art, the animals will be on display until the start of September when they will take part in a special auction to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, the official charity partner of The BIG Stampede.
The animals are settling into their new homes and can be found at a range of locations including Regent Shopping Centre, Strathclyde Park, Chatelherault as well as outside and inside numerous shops and businesses throughout Lanarkshire.
As part of the launch celebrations, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity is hosting a week of special events (24 June - 1 July) kicking off with a family fun day on Saturday from noon. There will be activities for all the family with a bouncy castle, fairground rides, a photobooth, face painting, arts and crafts and music as well as a host of other entertainment lined-up. People in the town are also encouraged to look out for performances at Top Cross in Hamilton where they can also find Thomas the giraffe.
Other activities during the special week-long launch celebrations include entertainment for wee ones to enjoy, live music and a comedy gala featuring some of Scotland’s top talent! Celebrations will be held throughout Hamilton and along The BIG Stampede trail to incorporate the majestic animals.
Each of the individual animals has been sponsored and then designed by an artist, commissioned from across the UK to create a one-off design specifically for Hamilton. Designs include everything from a space suit wearing gorilla featuring an acrylic helmet to a giant Tunnock’s Teacake themed giraffe and a lion brought to life in thousands of pieces of colourful mosaic. The designs have been made using a range of materials and have been inspired by everything from food and drink to history and the environment.
Young people throughout Lanarkshire also had the chance to get involved in the trail with almost 80 baby hippos designed by more than 1,500 pupils from schools across the local area. As well as being able to visit their animals on the ‘Little Stampede’ trail, the pupils received a series of exciting education resources which covered several areas of the curriculum, from numeracy, literacy and art to conservation and the environment. One local primary even had a bit of help from renowned Scottish artist, Stephen Brown where he added his famous McCoo design.
This is the second time the town has held a Wild in Art sculpture project after hosting the popular Ready Steady Gallop campaign in 2014 which saw 25 giant Clydesdale horses and 30 mini ponies canter into town.
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director at Wild in Art, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Hamilton BID again on The BIG Stampede. Everyone has done a fantastic job and the animals look amazing – it’s certainly going to be a bright summer in Hamilton with such a colourful pack. There really is going to be something for everyone and we know that locals and visitors will be excited to see the stampede around the town.”
Gareth Walker, BID Manager at Hamilton BID, added: “It is absolutely fantastic to see all the animals in their new home and we can’t wait to share them with residents and visitors.
“A huge amount of work has gone into the trail, and it is exciting to finally share each wonderful piece of artwork as the animals proudly take up their new residence. Each artist has done an incredible job and with such an array on show, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The local pupils have created some fabulous designs and we hope they enjoy visiting their special sculptures on the trail.”
At the end of their summer vacation, the larger animals will go up for auction in September with proceeds going towards Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, to support the 168,000 babies, children and young people treated at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow every year.
Kirsten Sinclair, Director of Fundraising at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are thrilled to be the charity partner for The BIG Stampede, and would like to thank Hamilton BID and Wild in Art for their tremendous support.
“Thousands of children from Lanarkshire are treated each year at our children’s hospital, so it is wonderful to be a part of such a special event which will help us raise vital funds to ensure that those very children receive the best possible care.
“We’re really looking forward to the trail getting underway. The sculptures all look incredible and we are particularly proud of our very own ‘Lovely the Gorilla’ which has been painted in support of the Charity!
“Our Family Fun Week will run alongside the trail, so we hope that everyone will join us at our fun packed activities and events to support our young patients and their families at Scotland’s largest children’s hospital.”
Gareth Walker, added: “While we are looking forward to having these beautiful beasts with us for the next 10 weeks, their next journey is an important one as we auction the sculptures off to raise valuable funds for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.
“We hope everyone has a fantastic time on the trail this summer and look forward to welcoming people to Hamilton.”
The trail is expected to be seen by thousands of people and safari spectators can pick up a trail map from shops, libraries, community centres, hotels and other attractions throughout Hamilton to help them scope out some of the big five game animals during their visit. A special app can also be downloaded for free, which includes incentives and rewards for visitors who scan different members of The BIG Stampede on their phone.
Hamilton is easily accessible from central Scotland with excellent road, train and bus links from both Glasgow and Edinburgh and surrounding areas.
Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events which bring together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of city-wide trails of uniquely painted sculptures.
The BIG Stampede trail will run from Friday 23 June until Sunday, 3 September 2017. For further information and updates throughout the trail, visit www.thebigstampede.co.uk.
Last Updated: 24 June 2017 10:21