Safari animals charge into Hamilton as charity tourist trail launches

Hamilton was overrun by a herd of safari animals as The BIG Stampede officially charged into town yesterday!

Safari animals charge into Hamilton as charity tourist trail launches

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

Latest Local News

Aye Write! and Wee Write! return in March!

Aye Write! and Wee Write! return in March!

Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival returns in March with an amazing line-up and more venues than ever before!

Casting confirmed for The Sound of Music

Casting confirmed for The Sound of Music

The Voice finalist Lucy O'Byrne will be joined by Eastenders and West End star Neil McDermott when The Sound of Music comes to the Glasgow King's!

Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Announces 2018 Programme

Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Announces 2018 Programme

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival has revealed its full programme, as it returns for its 16th year in March!

COMPETITION: Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show

COMPETITION: Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show

Win tickets to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show at the SEC Glasgow in February!

More Local News
Andy Murray serves up challenge to Scots to sign up for the Kiltwalk

Andy Murray serves up challenge to Scots to sign up for the Kiltwalk

Last Updated: 9th January 2018
Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam champion, is encouraging Scots to set the Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk as a goal for 2018!
Voting opens for the SSE Live Awards 2017

Voting opens for the SSE Live Awards 2017

Last Updated: 9th January 2018
Now in their third year, the SSE Live Awards are calling on fans from around the UK to vote for their Best Live Act of 2017!
Shrek stomps into Glasgow

Shrek stomps into Glasgow

Last Updated: 8th January 2018
SHREK THE MUSICAL® will be stomping into Glasgow following the triumphant opening of the UK & Ireland tour in Edinburgh!
Start new year on the right foot (or wheel)

Start new year on the right foot (or wheel)

Last Updated: 3rd January 2018
Renfrewshire residents can experience stunning walking tracks and cycle routes right on their doorstep.
Renfrewshire unveils dates for 2018 events programme

Renfrewshire unveils dates for 2018 events programme

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
Paisley and Renfrewshire are in line for another bumper year of major events – after dates were revealed for the main dates in 2018!
Young people ready to showcase year of youth led events

Young people ready to showcase year of youth led events

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
Renfrewshire’s young people are gearing up for an amazing celebration of youth this year.
Panto stars launch Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty

Panto stars launch Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty

Last Updated: 2nd January 2018
The National Autistic Society Scotland helped launch the Relaxed Performance of Sleeping Beauty at the King's Theatre in Glasgow!
Festive Fun around Renfrewshire

Festive Fun around Renfrewshire

Last Updated: 27th December 2017
There are plenty of fun family activities to enjoy in Renfrewshire over the festive season to help keep everyone entertained.
School children asked to fly the flag for Paisley start of historic rally

School children asked to fly the flag for Paisley start of historic rally

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Renfrewshire school children are being asked to design a winning flag to wave off drivers taking part in one of the world’s most iconic races.
COMPETITION: Win a family ticket to this years IRN BRU Carnival with Whats On For Families!

COMPETITION: Win a family ticket to this years IRN BRU Carnival with Whats On For Families!

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Prepare for a ‘whirl’ of fun... The IRN-BRU Carnival is back and we have five family tickets up for grabs!
Eastwood Park Theatre invites isolated adults to join in panto fun for free

Eastwood Park Theatre invites isolated adults to join in panto fun for free

Last Updated: 20th December 2017
Eastwood Park Theatre is inviting people feeling lonely or isolated at this time of year to come along to their pantomime and soak up some festive fun
The IRN BRU Carnival drives back into town!

The IRN BRU Carnival drives back into town!

Last Updated: 19th December 2017
It must be Christmas time, as the IRN-BRU Carnival returns to Glasgow this week with more thrilling rides for the whole family than ever before!
Jingle Bell Mile is a walk in the park for Johnstone pupils

Jingle Bell Mile is a walk in the park for Johnstone pupils

Last Updated: 18th December 2017
Pupils in Johnstone have jingled all the way round their local community as part of a festive walk.
Snow White stars set for the stage

Snow White stars set for the stage

Last Updated: 17th December 2017
Family panto packed with song, dance and the best Glasgow banter, Snow White and the Seven Muppets, kicks off at Eastwood Park Theatre tomorrow!
Peter Kay cancels UK live tour

Peter Kay cancels UK live tour

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
Comedian Peter Kay apologises to fans after he cancels all dates in his 2018 UK arena tour due to unforeseen family circumstances.
Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.
Go Safe East Ren road safety campaign launches

Go Safe East Ren road safety campaign launches

Last Updated: 13th December 2017
East Renfrewshire Council has today launched a road safety campaign, Go Safe East Ren, aimed at school pupils and parents.
Christmas jumpers raise money at Flip Out

Christmas jumpers raise money at Flip Out

Last Updated: 12th December 2017
This Friday (15th December) thousands of people across the country will be putting on their festive jumpers to raise money for charity.
First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Last Updated: 8th December 2017
Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture bid will lead to ‘lasting benefit’ for the town.
Various roads around Glasgow City Centre will be closed on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash

Various roads around Glasgow City Centre will be closed on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash

Last Updated: 8th December 2017
A sea of Santas are set to take over the city centre on Sunday for the annual Santa Dash, find out which roads will be closed on the day...