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What to do in Suffolk this weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:38 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:38 21 June 2019

The Waterfront overlooking the River Orwell in Ipswich Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

The Waterfront overlooking the River Orwell in Ipswich Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK

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There are some massive events to check out across Suffolk this weekend - from Suffolk Pride in Ipswich to the first Light Festival in Lowesotft. Here's a run-down of what you can see.

The Brass Funkeys are one of the headline acts in the 2019 Ipswich Jazz Festival Photo:ALEJANDRO TAMAGNOThe Brass Funkeys are one of the headline acts in the 2019 Ipswich Jazz Festival Photo:ALEJANDRO TAMAGNO

Ipswich Jazz Festival

2019 marks 100 years since the first tour of the UK by a jazz band - and so 100 years later, the fourth Ipswich Jazz Festival will run from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23.

The afternoon of Saturday, June 22 sees a free family jazz show, staged by Ipswich Jazz Festival, with singer Becki Biggins. It is aimed for primary school children and their families, featuring a performance by Cliff Lane Primary School's orchestra.

One of the highlights will be the return of Stars at St Peters on Saturday night in College Street, with a special night of jazz performances from top singer Polly Gibbons, an incredible band and opening set from the West Suffolk Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Other shows and gigs are peppered across Ipswich town centre, with some events tickets and other free to enter.

Suffolk Pride will be back for the first time in five years and is being supported by Suffolk New College Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGESuffolk Pride will be back for the first time in five years and is being supported by Suffolk New College Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE

Suffolk Pride LGBTQ+ Parade

The Pride Festival in Ipswich on Saturday is the first one to be held in five years.

The Pride parade will start outside Dance East and finish back at the Waterfront outside the Cult Cafe, near the university, where a host of entertainment will take place on stage alongside the food, drink and other festivities.

Suffolk Pride have booked lots of local acts to perform on their main stage.

The line-up announced so far includes headliners Reno and Rome, Diamond Vocal, Sienna Potter, Interesting Times Gang, Caswell, A.N.G, Just Jay Dance, Slow King, Tundra.

Ipswich Waterfront food and drink festival at Ipswich docks Picture: CITIZENSIDE/CHARLIE MANNIpswich Waterfront food and drink festival at Ipswich docks Picture: CITIZENSIDE/CHARLIE MANN

Ipswich Food and Drink Festival

Pork or chicken souvlaki, burgers with homemade toppings, Polish and Turkish sausages, Chinese noodles and Indian delicacies are just some of the street foods visitors can expect to find at the festival on the Waterfront this weekend.

Those who love to browse unusual items will find a diverse range of handmade, ethically traded products from handmade environmentally friendly wax melts and candles, to handcrafted wooden garden furniture.

"We are delighted to be returning to Ipswich Waterfront where our Food and Drink Festival receives such a warm welcome," said Paul Kennedy, director of the organising company, Zoom Events.

"This year we have developed a strong partnership with Suffolk Pride, who share our ethos for creating an exciting family-friendly event for all members of the local community to enjoy together. With Ipswich Jazz Festival also taking place over the same weekend, this promises to be a lively, vibrant weekend with a feast of entertainment for locals and tourists alike."

The Great East Swim at Alton Water kicks off on June 22 Picture: MARK ANDREW WITTERThe Great East Swim at Alton Water kicks off on June 22 Picture: MARK ANDREW WITTER

Great East Swim

Swimmers looking to test themselves and raise money for some charitable causes are taking to Alton Water to swim up to 10k on June 22 as part of the John West Great East Swim.

Suffolk Market Events are bringing a host of food and drink traders to Alton Water for the day,

The sunny weather forecast makes the event a great opportunity to see the swimming and take in the views in the beautiful Shotley Peninsula or Dedham Vale.

You may also want to watch:

Swimmers will be setting off from 8am through to 1.30pm.

Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk

More than 100 Elmers are hiding in Ipswich and waiting to be found! Following on from the success of the Pigs Gone Wild art trail in 2016, the Elmers have all been sponsored by Suffolk companies in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Trail maps and guides to 'The Learning Herd' Elmers - a collection of 84 smaller elephants designed by groups of children from across Suffolk - can be found at the Elmer pop-up HQ on the Ipswich Cornhill.

There is also a brilliant sticker album and activity book to complete, with stickers of all 138 elephants to collect, including 10 shiny stickers.

Hundreds of people enjoyed a packed two days of music and entertainment at StowFiesta 2018 Picture: STOWFIESTAHundreds of people enjoyed a packed two days of music and entertainment at StowFiesta 2018 Picture: STOWFIESTA

The trail marks the 30th anniversary of the first Elmer book being published.

Stow Fiesta

StowFiesta is a free annual community festival, organised by Stowmarket Town Council, which takes place at Chilton Fields, Stowmarket.

Every year features top quality musical acts from Stowmarket, Suffolk and beyond, family entertainment, food stalls and independent traders.

The festival launched as StowFest in 2007, evolving into StowFiesta in 2014.

Lowestoft's First Light Festival will be the perfect event to allow families to let their hair down together Photo: FIRST LIGHT FESTIVALLowestoft's First Light Festival will be the perfect event to allow families to let their hair down together Photo: FIRST LIGHT FESTIVAL

The party starts at 10am on June 22, with music over both days - with a two-hour party Saturday night party featuring the groovy soulful funk band, Yogi and the Invasion.

First Light Festival

First Light Festival claims to be the first-ever 24-hour festival, kicking off at midday on June 22 and not stopping for a moment until midday on June 23.

The Lowestoft festival has free entry and more than 100 free events for the two days. It hopes to celebrate the midsummer weekend at the most easterly point in Britain.

The festival will include live music, dance, films and well-being teaching, as well as live science demonstrations and thought-provoking talks.

The raft racers getting towed back during last year's Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair Photo: WOODBRIDGE REGATTAThe raft racers getting towed back during last year's Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair Photo: WOODBRIDGE REGATTA

Keen to keep the party going overnight, the festival also includes a night market and hourly dance performances on Lowestoft beach.

Woodbridge Regatta

The Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair is 181 years old in 2019, returning to The River Wall from 10am on Sunday, June 23.

The finest boats and yachts will be on display on the Rever Deben, alongside raft races and swimming gala events at the Riverside Leisure Centre. Refreshments at the picturesque Tea Hut and a variety of stalls available for the Regatta will also fill the town.

The 5th Woodbridge Sea Scouts will also be offering boat trips along the river, with any donations welcome for the trip.

Entry is free and limited free parking is available at Appey School via Cumberland Street.

■ Are you heading to any of these events this weekend? Send us your pictures and you could feature in our newspapers. Email our newsroom here.

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