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RIAT 2017 - Welcome to the Hare Tattoo

After months of preparation, the 2017 Hare Tattoo has landed!

Aviation enthusiasts visiting the Cotswolds this summer are in for a treat as the Royal International Air Tattoo launches its very own Hare as part of the 2017 Cotswold Hare Trail.

The Air Tattoo has been working closely with concept artist Izzy Burton, 23, to create a design which reflects the buzz of excitement surrounding the airshow and the theme of this year's Air Tattoo, which will pay special tribute to the 70th anniversary of the US Air Force.

The exuberant and eye-catching hare was unveiled on Thursday, March 9, at Burford Garden Centre during an official pre-launch event, which saw sponsors and artists come together to view the 68 5ft hares which will comprise the trail.

Natasha Neal, a spokesperson for the Air Tattoo, said: "Seeing all the hares in one place was fantastic - there are some really inspiring and creative designs. When looking at the hare for the Air Tattoo, we wanted to create something that would not only reflect the excitement of the airshow, but also a design that would appeal to all ages. Adding to this, it was also important for us to think about a design that both enthusiasts and those who may not have heard of the Air Tattoo would be excited by."

Natasha continued: "We're really pleased with the outcome - Izzy has taken our initial ideas and created a fantastic piece of art which encapsulates all these things. It is a fun and vibrant design which not only showcases the American theme of this year's airshow but also keeps a taste of the Cotswolds. Airshow lovers will also be able to spot some spectator favourites."

Featured as part of the Cotswold Trail, the decorated hare will be displayed on the green outside the Marlborough Arms, Fairford, throughout the sixth-month Cotswold Hare Festival. The hare will remain in place throughout the Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 14-16 at RAF Fairford.

Natasha added: "We hope that people coming to the airshow will get involved with the trail and take a special trip into Fairford to have their photo taken with the Hare Tattoo and share them with us on Instagram @haretattoo2017 or on Twitter @RIATPR."

Festival Director, Florence Beetlestone said "We are delighted to welcome the Hare Tattoo to our drove of hares and very pleased by the support of RIAT. The Cotswold Hare Trail is a fun, free and interactive new tourist feature, running from 25 March - 10 September. It will feature 85 five-foot decorated hares linking towns across the Cotswolds. At the end of the festival, each sculpture will be put to auction, raising vital funds for National Star and local heritage projects. We want everyone to upload their selfies to Instagram cirencester_hares and to post on Twitter @cirenhare and to like us on Facebook and LinkedIn to create a real buzz."

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. This year the Air Tattoo will have an American theme as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of one of the largest air forces in the world, the US Air Force. The Thunderbirds' performance will form part of the airshow's official tribute to the occasion and will be the team's only UK appearance in 2017.

To purchase tickets for the Air Tattoo or find out more information please visit www.airtattoo.com. Take a look at some of Izzy's designs at https://izzyburtonart.wordpress.com/