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Gallery: Ipswich Maritime Festival 2014 takes over town’s flagship Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 11:30 17 August 2014 | UPDATED: 19:42 17 August 2014

Viking reenactors depict life in days gone by at Ipswich Maritime Festival

Viking reenactors depict life in days gone by at Ipswich Maritime Festival

James Fletcher

Tens of thousands of people and holidaymakers flocked to Ipswich’s Waterfront over the weekend for the finale of the town’s maritime festival.

The Celebrate Ipswich extravaganza featured a new five-day beer and beverage festival, a regatta programme enjoyed by young and old and a string of stalls showcasing jewellery, wooden models and locally produced food.

There was something for everybody, from an exciting car show on Monday to a fancy dress day on Friday.

Visitors were also treated to a Viking re-enactment and had the chance to shop at a Suffolk Farmers Market.

Cathy Frost, owner of LoveOne and organiser of the market, said: “It is great to have a new event on the street celebrating our local food producers – the street was buzzing.”

As always, no Maritime festival would be the same without the acclaimed resident boats that included the historic Sailing Barge Victor and the Orwell Lady.

The weekend tours offered visitors a chance to learn more about Ipswich’s maritime history and view the historical ports of Ipswich from the water.

The festival, organised by Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central, is designed to cement the town’s reputation as the festival capital of East Anglia.

Bryony Rudkin, culture portfolio-holder at Ipswich Borough Council, described the festival as a “great success”.

She said: “We have seen tens of thousands of people down here, enjoying the music, special markets, re-enactments and other entertainment and it shows that Ipswich knows how to put on a great summer party.”

Live music and children entertainment were also held across the Waterfront during the festival, which was treated to blue skies as it finished on Sunday evening.

Festival-goer Paul Platten, of Hossack Road, Ipswich, said it was a “great event” – and called for more showpieces to be staged at the town’s Waterfront.

He said: “It was really good to see a lot of people coming out to enjoy the festival and have a look at all the nice stalls.

“It was good to see the community come out and support the event.

“The Vikings demonstration was really cool, as were the Formula One cars which were on display.

“I think the Waterfront is not used enough. It is the main feature in the town and it would be nice to see more events here.

“There could be more investment down here, especially with regards to the older buildings.”

Another festival-goer, Tony Pyett, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, added: “We thought we would come out to see what was going on – and it seems to be a really good event.

“There were a wide range of stalls as well as the Orwell Lady going up and down the River Orwell. There should be more events like this at the Waterfront.”

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, praised organisers for putting on a successful event.

He said: “Celebrate Ipswich is about showcasing our county town to visitors.

“A huge number of businesses engaged with the campaign to give East Anglia’s Waterfront Town a fantastic festival feel throughout the last week.

“The week was a success with thousands of people enjoying the hive of activity in the town and on the Waterfront.”

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