The countdown begins - 100 days to go until Suffolk Day!
PUBLISHED: 07:30 12 March 2019
The countdown to one of the biggest events in the county's calendar has officially begun - with 100 days until we come together to celebrate everything there is to love about Suffolk.
Suffolk Day is returning for its third year on June 21, with everything from guided walks and treasure hunts to live broadcasts and competitions set to take place across the county.
The annual festivities will continue on the longest day of the year, stretching from Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury in the west, to Lowestoft and Aldeburgh in the east.
But with Suffolk Day falling on a Friday for the first time, organisers are encouraging people to spread their celebrations out over the weekend too.
The day is backed by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, BBC Radio Suffolk, Suffolk Food Hall and Suffolk County Council – and anyone can take part.
So far, Easton Farm Park has invited local growers, food producers, artists, suppliers and creators of all things Suffolk to show off their wares on the big day.
In addition to the rides and animals on show, visitors will be able to browse food, drink and craft stalls – with local producers offered a trade stand free of charge.
All profits raised from the day will be donated to the Suffolk Horse Society.
Martlesham Heath Control Tower Museum has also announced it will be hosting complimentary guided walks, while the The Place for Plants in East Bergholt will be opening its 20-acre garden free of charge for the whole weekend.
For keen explorers, the Ipswich East Rotary Club will be running the Orwell Challenge on Sunday, June 23 – a chance for hundreds to take in a picturesque route through the countryside along the River Orwell, exploring areas off the beaten track that many have never had the chance to enjoy.
Suffolk Pride will also be hosting a one-day parade along the Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday, June 22.
The parade will start at midday near DanceEast, and continue past the restaurants and the university, finishing outside Cult Café on Orwell Quay – where there will be a variety of live music and entertainment, a range of food and drink stalls and selected business stands showcasing their products, services and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Anybody interested in taking part can search for opportunities or register their own event on the Suffolk Day website.
Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said: “This may only be the third Suffolk Day, but it has really captured the imagination and the number of people taking part continues to grow.
“It keeps getting better, and we think that by making this an event which spreads over three days, it will give everyone an opportunity to play a part.
“We’re lucky to live in a fantastic part of the world, which has so much going for it.
“Suffolk Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate that.”
Suffolk Remembers returns
One of the more poignant events on Suffolk Day will be the annual Suffolk Remembers service.
Organised by St Elizabeth Hospice, and sponsored by East of England Co-Op Funeral Services, it is the opportunity to celebrate the lives of loved ones no longer with us by dedicating a candle in their memory.
This year, the aim is to light 5,000 candles – 1,000 more than last time – on Felixstowe seafront, on the evening of June 21.
Pauline Donkin, individual giving manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Suffolk Remembers is fast becoming one of my favourite hospice events. There’s this incredible sense of community on the night as everyone comes together for the lighting of the candles and joins together to remember their loved ones as the sun sets on the longest day of the year.
“It’s so, so special and is open to anyone, not just people who have had an experience with the hospice or our nurses.
“We want to light up Felixstowe with 5,000 personal memories and people can remember pets as well, as they are very much part of a family and they too are sadly missed. Every candle will bear the name of a loved one.
“Being able to remember and share memories or your loved ones is such an important thing, but quite often it is something we think we can only do in private or by a grave.
“Suffolk Remembers is all about giving people an open and public way of remembering their loved ones and helping people to connect with other people in a similar situation. We also have live music on the night and it’s a really wonderful experience.
“Each dedication is also replicated on our website and you can go online and make your dedication today and add a photograph and special message. By supporting this event you are also helping the hospice to care for people, and their families, in east Suffolk, to ease pain and restore hope.”
If you would like to know more, visit the Suffolk Remembers website.