First details of Suffolk Day 2021 announced
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Suffolk Day will return this year with a special theme - and the celebrations could coincide with the lifting of final coronavirus restrictions.
The event is always held on the longest day, which this year falls on Monday, June 21. That's also the date the last Covid restrictions could be lifted, if the Government says it is safe to do so.
People are urged to enjoy the day, and weekend before, safely and in line with any restrictions that may still be in force.
This year, the theme for the day is 'rejoice, revisit, remember' - with people urged to enjoy the best of the county that they may have missed during the pandemic.
And as we build up to the big day, we are urging readers to send us pictures of their favourite places and things to do in Suffolk - using the theme of rejoice, revisit, remember. We'll publish as many of these as we can in the coming weeks.
Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said: "I think after the last year or so, everybody feels ready to rediscover all that's great about our county. Whether that's the amazing food and drink, enjoying the amazing places we have here to visit, or catching up and celebrating the day with friends.
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"It would be great if this coincided with the end of restrictions - but even if it doesn't, there will still be ways to safely celebrate Suffolk Day."
BBC Radio Suffolk will be devoting the whole day to celebrating Suffolk. From 6am to 10pm its programmes and reporters will be around the county showcasing all that’s’ going on.
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Breakfast presenter Mark Murphy, who created the original Suffolk Day, said: “We can’t wait to get back out into Suffolk again. Because of Covid-19 we’ve been stuck in our studios for over a year and it’ll be so good be with real people enjoying a nice (fingers crossed) sunny day!”
Oliver Paul, Suffolk Food Hall director, who helps co-ordinate Suffolk Day, said: "The purpose of this year’s commemoration is very fitting. We all want to 'Rejoice' with the passing of Step Four of the Government’s roadmap, by celebrating what makes Suffolk great.
"Events around June 21 will be occasions to 'Revisit' the places and people we love. Whilst 'Remembering' difficulties, and those who continue to have tough times.”
Nicola Beach, Suffolk County Council chief executive, said: "This year’s Suffolk Day is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and rejoice in the way that Suffolk has come together over the last year. We have seen so many examples of community spirit, as well as strength and resilience across the county.
“It is also a time to reflect and remember those we have lost, and to thank everyone who has been involved in the Covid-19 response – however large or small their contribution has been.
“As things begin to open back up and restrictions are lifted, we can begin to carefully and safely revisit some of the places we have missed in the county, and support Suffolk’s businesses and communities. I know I’m looking forwarding to getting back out with my family and friends and enjoying all that Suffolk has to offer.
“We have so much to be proud of in the county, and if we make sure we are sensible and continue to stick with it over the coming weeks we can look forward to a fantastic Suffolk Day.”
Email your favourite pictures of Suffolk to use at email@example.com or post them on social media using the theme of 'rejoice, revisit, remember', using the #suffolkday hashtag
The Suffolk Remembers event hopes to go ahead on Felixstowe seafront this year, bringing Suffolk Day to a poignant close.
The annual memorial event, organised by St Elizabeth Hospice, normally sees 5,000 candles lit along the seafront as hundreds of people gather to remember their loved ones.
Coronavirus saw the event broadcast as an online video instead last year, although it is hoped the event will return to its traditional format on June 21.
Pauline Donkin, head of individual giving and supporter care at St Elizabeth Hospice, said she hopes the event will give families who were not given the chance to say goodbye to loved ones a chance to grieve.
Ms Donkin said: “Sadly many families have lost a loved one due to Covid-19 and the last year has been a particularly difficult time. Some people were not even able to say goodbye, they have faced loneliness and grief, many without support.
“At Suffolk Remembers we all have one thing that unites us, the loss of someone we loved whether that is a member of our family or a dear friend."
Those with candles are encouraged to make donations to the independent Suffolk charity, which cares for more than 3,000 people across the county every year.
All are welcome to dedicate a candle at the event – including for those who were not cared for by the hospice – which is again sponsored by East of England Co-op Funeral Services.
Each dedication will also include a photo and a message to a loved one which will be included in the Suffolk Remembers’ online gallery and a physical electric candle will be added to the hospice’s physical event display.
For further information about Suffolk Remembers visit their website or via 01473 727776.