Gallery: All hands on deck as Ipswich’s maritime history comes alive at the Waterfront

TENS of thousands of visitors will arrive in sizzling Ipswich this weekend for a journey into our maritime history.

The Maritime Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before, with the borough council and Ipswich Central teaming up to create two weeks of activities to showcase all that the town has to offer.

The Celebrate Ipswich Festival will run until August 24, with the Maritime spectacular taking place in the middle of the festivities.

This weekend’s Maritime Festival – which promises to be bathed in glorious sunshine – includes a beer festival and historic re-enactments of the Second World War and the 1940s Home Front, including a glimpse into the role of Royal Navy Commandos and encampments.

Other displays will teach visitors – who are expected to travel here from far afield – about life aboard a submarine.

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Last year’s event attracted almost 70,000 people to Ipswich, and with an array of markets, organisers hope even more will enjoy the spectacular.

A maritime market will be staged along the Waterfront stretching up towards DanceEast, with a mixture of stalls providing a range of crafts, gifts and vintage treasures.

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The St Peter’s Street Market Weekender – situated in the Saints which comprises of the areas around St Peter’s Street and St Nicholas Street – will offer a range of local artisans.

And just a stone’s throw away, a market dedicated solely to food and drink will offer visitors tasty treats. The hive of activity will mean traffic will be prevented from using Cromwell Square and St Peter’s Street.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “There is such a good feeling around at the moment with our phenomenal Olympic success and we don’t want that to stop after Sunday.

“Celebrate is about getting people into the town and enjoying all that we have to offer and keeping alive the Olympic feel good factor. Our beautiful town centre and Waterfront areas, our great independent businesses and the retail and leisure offering across Ipswich; everyone is joining forces to make this a triumph.”

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The Celebrate Ipswich Festival will include a range of fun activities around the town.

Mini Maritime Musuems will be popping up in the town’s vacant units, with live music and dancing on the streets to keep visitors entertained.

Across the two weeks there will be four guided tours of Ipswich with different themes – the Cobbolds, Maritime, Medieval and West Gate – all celebrating and showcasing the town’s most famous moments in history.

Today, the Buttermarket area of town will be bringing its shops to the streets with tasters, stalls and samples to celebrate their offerings.

Are you looking forward to the Maritime Festival? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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