Crowngate prepares for penguin parade

Date published: 17 May 2023

Mike Lloyd of Crowngate Shopping Centre and Sara Matthews of St Richard's Hospice stand with Spirit the large penguin statue and Hoiho the small penguin statue in Worcester High Street.

Worcester’s largest shopping centre is backing next summer’s penguin art trail to drive visitors and shoppers alike to the city.

Crowngate is to partner in the great Waddle of Worcester following the success of the 2018 and 2021 trails which saw retail footfall rise significantly. Ninety-six per cent of visitors to the 2021 trail said they were inspired to stay longer than usual in the city and almost half visited four times or more.

As official host to the event’s ‘mini parade’ of penguin chicks, designed by local schools and community groups, the shopping centre is expecting to see trail goers sliding through the doors at its two sites.

Mike Lloyd, Centre Manager for Crowngate, said: “We look back on the last two art trails with such affection; to have had a centre full of baby elephants and giraffes and artists busy painting was pretty unforgettable. As were all the happy faces of children and families proudly seeing their artwork on display.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Crowngate again next summer.”

The trail begins on Monday, 22 July and runs for eight weeks until Sunday, 15 September 2024. Forty large fibreglass penguin sculptures will bring a splash of colour to Worcester’s streets and public spaces to form an interactive art trail.

Waddle of Worcester is a Wild in Art event brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.

Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “Crowngate has been by our sides from the very beginning so we know they’ll take good care of our penguin chicks. We’re so grateful to the centre for backing us when an art trail was just an idea on paper to now when it’s a much-loved event in the city calendar.”

“Crowngate saw a notable rise in footfall across its sites in 2018 and 2021 and we’re looking forward to bringing those same economic benefits to our wonderful city once again in summer 2024.”

Once the trail has ended, the large penguin sculptures will be auctioned to raise money towards the free care that St Richard’s provide to patients with a serious progressive illness and their loved ones.

Forty large penguins will be designed by artists and selected by sponsors to appear along the six-mile route. To register interest as an artist visit our Artist page.

Forty baby penguins will be available for adoption by local schools and community groups. To register interest as a school or community group visit or Schools page.

You can follow the great Waddle of Worcester on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The great Waddle of Worcester is supported by Presenting Partners; Crowngate, DRPG, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Ambassadors, Community and Education Partner; Worcester BID and Media Partners; the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

Join the huddle

To discuss sponsorship opportunities, call Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager, on 01905 763963, or email [email protected]

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