The countdown begins - 100 days to go until Suffolk Day!
PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 13 March 2018
The countdown to Suffolk Day has begun - with only 100 days left until the big celebration dedicated to our wonderful county.
The event, on June 21, the longest day of the year, will see a host of events and festivities take place all over Suffolk, flying the flag for everything that make this county great.
More exciting plans are being added to the diary every week, including celebrations at Suffolk Food Hall in Wherstead, Sudbury Market and Shotley Pier to name a few.
Pupils from Birchwood Primary School will come face-to face with the ‘Suffolk Sextuplet’ at the food hall - the Suffolk Punch, Red Poll Cattle, Suffolk Sheep, Ixworth Chickens, the Suffolk Large Black Pig and a new edition, the Suffolk Chequer Bantam chicken.
Children at the school will be incubating and hatching the bantam eggs ready for the big day.
Suffolk County Council is also planning to replace all the ‘Welcome to Suffolk’ signs in celebration of Suffolk Day.
Many pubs are getting involved – including the Westleton Crown, Dunwich Ship, Case is Altered in Bentley and The Arbor House, Ipswich. There will also be guided walks in the likes of Stowmarket, Hadleigh and Lavenham.
Meanwhile, the next High Sheriff of Suffolk, George Vestey, will travel the county with Tim Holder, of the Suffolk Community Foundation, to attend all of BBC Radio Suffolk’s outside broadcasts and to shine a light on the great work of charities and community groups in Suffolk.
Suffolk Day is backed by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, along with BBC Radio Suffolk and the county council.
Mark Murphy, breakfast show presenter at BBC Radio Suffolk, said: “I think last year people were a little unsure so they were just waiting to see what it was like. But people dipped their toe in the water and really enjoyed themselves.
“What was lovely was hearing everyone saying ‘Happy Suffolk Day’ to each other.
“It was so good, Norfolk have even copied it. But Suffolk Day is before Norfolk Day so we need to show them how it is done.”
Suffolk Day organiser Oliver Paul, of Suffolk Food Hall, said: “We now have more than 100 people and organisations who have said they will take part. Let’s try and make it even better than last year.”
Lord Lieutenant urges everyone to get involved
Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Clare Euston, has said the event will be a “celebration of all the good things in our county”.
In a Suffolk Day proclamation, she said: “We have historic towns, villages, the incredible coast and so much unspoilt countryside. We have fantastic local food, much art and culture, and innovative businesses to take us forward. We have heritage, charities, and sports including the finest football club in the region.
“We are all proud of our county and Suffolk Day is a moment to thank those who make it a wonderful place to live, work and learn.
“On this day, people of all ages must get involved in underlining the past, present and future. This proclamation is be shared by our many community groups and stakeholders across the county. So, let us shout about our love for Suffolk.”
Around 120 people or organisations have already declared they will hold events to celebrate Suffolk Day.
Will Suffolk win Countryfile award?
Voting has now closed for BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Holiday Destination of the Year - with Suffolk reaching the final five.
We now have to wait until Thursday, March 15 to find out whether Suffolk has scooped the prestigious award - so keep your fingers crossed until then.
The county was up against tough competition from the Forest of Bowland, the Pembrokeshire Coast, the Isle of Wight and Speyside.
Voters had until midnight on March 5 to have their say on who takes home the award.
But Amanda Bond, from Visit Suffolk, said the county deserves to win.
She said: “Looking at our diverse tourism offering – from Constable Country in the south, the home of horseracing and the Brecks in the west, pretty characterful villages at the heart of Suffolk to the attractive waterfront town of Ipswich and stunning coastline – it’s no wonder we’re in the running, it’s simply charming.”