Elephant & Castle celebrates the return of its Elephant Statue with an elephantastic celebration for the community


This June Elephant & Castle will be celebrating the return of the community’s beloved elephant statue which is being welcomed to its new home in the area’s shopping and dining destination Castle Square. The statue has been restored with a fresh lick of paint, and will now stand proudly atop of Castle Square.

On Saturday 26th June, the Elephant & Castle Town Centre Team will be throwing a welcome party for the local community to celebrate the return of the iconic landmark with a whole day of family-fun entertainment, and delicious food and cocktails from local traders.

To mark the elephant’s homecoming, Elephant & Castle will be bringing the story to life with a free spectacle performance of Elephantastic: “The Story of a Travelling Elephant” which will be performed in Castle Square across the day. Written and directed by John Whelan, the artistic director of Southwark Playhouse’s People’s Company, the history of Elephant & Castle is told through entertaining narration, music and interpretive dance, with some of the area’s famous historical residents making special appearances, including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Michael Caine. The 15-minute show will be performed at 12:00 PM and twice more at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

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The celebrations will continue throughout the day, with music and entertainers roaming around Castle Square from 11:00 AM to 17:00 PM. Everyone is invited to join in the summer festivities with performances on the main stage from Latin dancers, African drummers, and a soundtrack of well-known hits provided by the Community Hub Choir made up of Elephant & Castle locals.

A selection of traders who make up the independent local food, drink and retail businesses at Castle Square will be cooking up a storm for visitors to sample their authentic Latin and Caribbean delicacies. Stop by throughout the day to enjoy a bite to eat and the options of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from traders including Coma Y Beba’s tasty empanadas and Colombian cocktails, and Faye Gomes’ delicious Guyanese dishes from Kaieteur Kitchen.

A new member of the Castle Square line-up, craft beer taproom and bottle shop Mother Kelly’s, will be making their debut as they open their doors on Saturday 26th June. The newest bar addition to Elephant & Castle will be welcoming in visitors at the event with a selection of artisan brews to choose from.

Faye Gomez, Owner of Kaieteur Kitchen at Castle Square, says: “Elephant and Castle have been a long-standing home for most of us traders, so it’s a great pleasure to have the statue back in Castle Square. We would like to welcome all our friends and residents of the community to a special gathering on Saturday 26th to join us for a day of fun!”

Juan Olivares, CEO of Inara Money Transfer at Castle Square,commented: “It is very exciting to be part of the transformation of Elephant and Castle, a transformation that includes better surroundings and a better quality of life. It will bring with it a lot of new architecture and contemporary features but as with London’s amazing mix of periods and styles, we’re delighted to welcome back this iconic sculpture. A symbol of Elephant and Castle, and now a part of Castle Square, which represents our past and traditions whilst looking into the future with optimism and appreciation.”

For those who can’t make it down on Saturday, do not fear as there’ll be free live entertainment, giant family games and roaming performers across the day on Sunday 27th June. Alongside the statue return celebration, Elephant & Castle’s Virtual Community Hub has teamed up with Creation Station Kids Club to put on a series of virtual family-friendly arts and crafts workshops for kids aged 2-10. Running on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month at 11:00 AM and 4.30 PM, classes include ‘Undersea painting and making sea creatures for World Oceans Day’, ‘making Father’s Day pop-up cards’, and ‘design your own football kit and finger puppets for tabletop football.’

In addition, throughout June Re-Tribe’s workshops are all around the theme of What Love Looks Like. The Virtual Community Hub will be exploring love language, what love means to us, how we express and connect through our own love language and inviting opportunities for writing practices, reflection, story sharing and meditations, which will be on every Thursday in June at 11.00am.