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

11:30 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.”



  • I thought this was a good event. Went 3 times, Friday night, Saturday lunchtime and Sunday night and enjoyed it each time. @chantry, there was a good feel to the Beer Festival on Friday night so not sure why you think it was a flop. Would have to agree with @mmm, it was very congested with stalls by CranfieldsDance East. Would have better to have them on just one side. There were plenty of people about that, like us, appeared to be enjoying the atmosphere.

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    R2 D2

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Have a look at tripadvisors to see why the waterfront is not used enough

    Report this comment


    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • "litter" I meant of course, not little!!

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • A great event once again, I personally felt the atmosphere was bit flat on Saturday afternoon. We walked the length of the water front and back, and there was a lot there but most "events" seemed to be taking a break and why cram so many stalls up near Dance East creating such a bottle neck, too many people so no chance to browse the stalls properly. I went back after dark and thought the atmosphere was fab, especially with all the lights across the boats and buildings. but why oh why could not something have been done to tidy up the approaches. Along the quay from Stoke Bridge there was little all strewn along the gutter that has been there for months, not a great impression for visitors. Did no one think to look at things like that! The event is there to promote the town, and leaving places littered and filthy dirty does not do that! We also got off to a bad start as we walked through the gates St Peters Church a large rat ran across in front of us! So congrats on a great event, but attention to detail would help. They could even ask for a few volunteers to do a litter pick, I would much rather have gone down and picked it up myself before hand than have visitors see it...

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • My understanding was that Camra were unable to supply cooling equipment for Ipswich festival as it would all be in use in London. I visited on Wednesday and although quiet (not unexpectedly due to the day of week) thought it provided a showcase of some local and not so local ales. I say well done to Adie Smith (The Dove Street Inn) and his team for co-ordinating it. Ok Ale may not be to everyone's taste but I for one thoroughly enjoyed it. Once again many thanks

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • @chantry: I can answer your second question. There was no Camra beer festival because the maritime festival was moved to coincide with the Great British Beer Festival which gets first call on the equipment needed to put a beer festival on. Ipswich Borough Council didn't bother consulting Camra before changing it.

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • Why was the Maritime Festival moved to a different week ? Why was there no traditional CAMRA Beer Festival ? ........The Beer Festival was a flop.......

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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