Hamilton's Big Stampede art trail app was downloaded almost 95,000 times

The event has now drawn to a close with thousands enjoying the public art trail.

The BIG Stampede is over – but tens of thousands of people enjoyed the public art trail that brought ‘jungle fever’ to Hamilton.

More than 100 giraffes, rhinos, lions, gorillas and baby hippos brightened up the town during the summer.

And organisers Hamilton Business Improvement District (BID) say that the 10-week event was a massive success.

Gareth Walker, manager of Hamilton BID, said: “It has been a fantastic summer celebrating The BIG Stampede, and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone, both the local community and those visiting, that have supported and visited the trail, especially during some of Scotland’s more challenging summer weather spells.

“The BIG Stampede has been two years in the making and a lot of hard work has gone in to ensuring its success, and on behalf of the BID I would like to say a big thank you to all involved, especially the artists, sponsors and local businesses.

“It has been brilliant to see the animals every day throughout the town – they are certainly going to be missed.”

The giant animal sculptures took up residence throughout the town in parks, streets, shops and open spaces.

Designs included everything from a gorilla in a space suit to a giant Tunnock’s Teacake-themed giraffe and a lion brought to life by thousands of pieces of colourful ceramics.

During their 10-week stay the animals attracted a lot of attention, with people travelling as far as Brighton to catch a glimpse of the beautiful beasts.

And the art trail’s app was downloaded almost 95,000 times, allowing people to track the animals, collect trophies and unlock rewards and offers.

A survey found that 75 per cent of respondents were influenced to visit Hamilton as a result of The BIG Stampede, while 63 per cent stated that they had spent longer in the town as a result of the trail. Many people, both locals and tourists, visited the trail on multiple occasions – with 85 per cent of respondents visiting two or more times and as many as 31 per cent seeing it six or more times.

Each of the giant sculptures – the elephants, giraffes, lions, gorillas and rhinos – were individually designed by artists commissioned from across the UK.

And Lanarkshire schools also got involved, with each of the 80 baby hippos in ‘The Little Stampede’ representing a primary.

Gareth added: “The baby hippos will be returned to the schools for the pupils to enjoy but for the larger sculptures, their journey isn’t over yet as they will be offered up for auction to raise funds for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

“We’re looking forward to supporting the charity at the auction and finding out the new homes that the animals are going to while raising valuable funds for a very worthwhile cause.”

The sculptures will be auctioned off on Friday, September 29, at The Hamilton Town House with host Robin Galloway. Tickets cost £10 each and include a glass of prosecco on arrival. To purchase a ticket, go online to sllcboxoffice.co.uk or call 01698 452299.

Daily Record
8th September 2017