THE much-loved hares from The Big Hop Trail have migrated from their outdoor locations across the north of Scotland in preparation for a special farewell event at The Music Hall in Aberdeen this weekend.
Sponsored by Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and delivered by charity Clan Cancer Support, the public art trail featured 40 six-foot hares and 52 leveret sculptures displayed across a 550-mile route from Stonehaven, Aberdeen to Lerwick, Shetland.
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After being on public display for nine weeks, the 92 sculptures will now be inspected and prepared for the Farewell Weekend on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 with almost 1,400 tickets already sold.
The weekend event, sponsored by Stagecoach, will offer a final opportunity to see and ‘collect’ the sculptures via the dedicated trail app before they are sold at auction on Monday, September 18 to raise valuable funds for Clan Cancer Support.
Teresa Bremner, Clan’s sculpture trail project manager, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the public throughout the trail. They have embraced our hares and the artists behind them. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part by downloading the app, sharing pictures with us online or purchasing our merchandise.
“We’d also like to thank our sponsors who have provided invaluable support over the past week during our deinstallation process, including Colin Lawson Transport for helping us safely remove the sculptures from their outdoor locations and to Hellmann Worldwide Logistics for storing them.
“We are so excited to welcome thousands of visitors to the Farewell Weekend this Saturday and Sunday for a special opportunity to see our entire drove within one of Aberdeen’s most beautiful and iconic venues, it will be the perfect send off for our hares before they are given new homes at our auction.”
Daniel Laird, commercial director at Stagecoach Bluebird added: “We have been delighted to play our part in the Big Hop Trail, both as Transport Partner of the event and as the proud sponsors of two large sculptures at Banchory and Peterhead. It has been great to see people of all ages choosing to hop and off our bus services to collect as many hares as they can.
“The trail has helped to showcase the fantastic towns, villages and natural scenery across the north of Scotland whilst raising awareness of the vital work of Clan. We look forward to seeing lots of collectors on board as they head to the Farewell Weekend in Aberdeen city centre.”
In partnership with Wild in Art, the trail aimed to raise awareness of the leading north-east cancer charity which runs six support centres and additional outreach programmes across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and Shetland and generates vital funding for its services.
Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder of Wild in Art said: “The Big Hop has already brought so much joy to the thousands of people who have explored the trail this summer.
“Seeing all the hares gathered together at the Farewell Weekend will be an amazing spectacle and they now have an important job to do, to help raise funds for Clan. Make sure you see them all at the Farewell Weekend and pick your favourites to bid on at auction.”
The charity chose the hare sculpture because the animal is found across Clan’s geography and is known for its resilience. They also have exceptional hearing, symbolising the charity’s lifeline listening and support service.
The Farewell Weekend will take place at Aberdeen Music Hall from 10am – 5pm on Saturday, September 16 and on Sunday, September 17. Tickets are priced at £5 per person and entry is free for children under five.
The 40 large sculptures and five specially commissioned leveret sculptures will be sold at auction by Bargain Hunt presenter and auctioneer, Charles Hanson at The Music Hall on Monday, September 18 with all proceeds going to Clan Cancer Support.
For more information and to buy tickets for both the Farewell Weekend and the Auction, please visit: https://www.thebighop.co.uk/events/