Seven fun things to do this weekend in Suffolk and north Essex

The popular dragon fest at West Stow is back Picture EPICO

The popular dragon fest at West Stow is back Picture EPICO - Credit: Contributed

Make sure you have something to look forward to this weekend, these events are all taking place on June 23 and 24.

The Great East Swim 2017 at Alton Water Reservoir near Holbrook in Suffolk. Picture: PETER LANGDOWN

The Great East Swim 2017 at Alton Water Reservoir near Holbrook in Suffolk. Picture: PETER LANGDOWN - Credit: Archant

Great East Swim, Alton Water, June 23

Whether you’re looking to try an open water swim for the first time, or you’re searching for the ultimate challenge, the Great East Swim offers you a selection of distances to suit your ability. The event is a great day out for swimmers, families and spectators. There will be farmers’ markets, musical entertainment and swim distances ranging from 1/2 a mile right up to a 10k. To read more about the event and to register to swim visit the website here.

NB 2017 Race for Life Pretty Muddy,Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.Picture:Nige Brown.

NB 2017 Race for Life Pretty Muddy,Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.Picture:Nige Brown. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Pretty Muddy 5K, June 23, Trinity Park

The race for life but with a muddy twist. Spend your weekend having a laugh with friends and family while raising funds for Cancer Research. Race for Life Pretty Muddy is a 5K muddy obstacle course, where you will scramble over the A-frame, crawl through the mud pit and lots more. The route will run around the show ground where there will be plenty of cheering points for spectators. You must be 13 and over to take part and tickets range from £10 to £19.99 depending on your age. For more details visit the website here.

A foal grazes in the sun at Easton Farm Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A foal grazes in the sun at Easton Farm Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Magical Unicorn Weekend, Easton Farm Park, Woodbridge, June 23 and 24

Spend a day at Easton Farm Park this weekend with your family and friends. There will be mythical creatures, fantasy worlds, a little magic and lots of sparkling. In addition to the magical unicorn weekend the farm will be offering their normal full programme of activity. If you attend as a family of four (two adults and two children) there is a Family Day Out ticket for £35. The day starts at 11am and finishes at 4.30pm. There are so many activities planned including hug a bunny, pony and cart rides, a family train ride and lots more.

Dragon Fest. Picture: SIMON KELSEY

Dragon Fest. Picture: SIMON KELSEY - Credit: Simon Kelsey, Praxis


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Dragon Fest, West Stow Anglo Saxon Village, Bury St Edmunds, June 23 and 24

Back by popular demand the West Stow Anglo Saxon Village are hosting their 4th annual Dragon Fest this weekend. It will be a day celebrating all things dragon, from dinosaurs to folklore, myth and legend from throughout the world. There will be a guest appearance of crowd pleasing Epico The Dragon. Children of all ages are invited to be a hero for the day and join Epico in his land of adventure for non-stop family fun. The immensely popular two-day event will also feature performances with jaw dropping fire breathing, gruesome tales from Beowulf and Grendel Puppet Theatre, and the Wulflings re-enactment group with their exciting tales of Arthurian Legends. There are many other family friendly activities for budding knights, large and small, including Giant Bubbles, LEGO building, archery, face-painting and even Dragon Nest building. The newly refurbished West Stow Anglo Saxon Museum and Gallery will also be open throughout the weekend. The event will run from 10am until 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, advance tickets are £8 for an adult and £5 for a child, booking is strongly advised.

Africa Alive!

Africa Alive! - Credit: Archant

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Africa By Night, Africa Alive!, June 23

This event only happens once a year so make sure you don’t miss out! On Saturday you can go and see the animals at Africa Alive at night. From 6pm until 10pm the park will be open to raise money for the wildlife conservation. There will be a feast of entertainment for you to enjoy as well as watching how the animals behave at night.

Colchester Food and Drink Festival on saturday in the Castle Park.
Smoked ribs to try at one of the

Colchester Food and Drink Festival on saturday in the Castle Park. Smoked ribs to try at one of the many stalls at the park.

Colchester Food and Drink Festival, Castle Park, Colchester, June 23 and 24

This weekend marks the Colchester Food and Drink Festival’s 16th year. There will be lots of old favourites along with some new and exciting stalls and products to tempt you. You can expect over 150 different stalls with local and international food and drink. There will be a variation of food and drink products from items to eat/drink on the spot, to make a picnic with and to take home. A ‘Celebrity Kitchen’ demonstrates great cooking. All day music by local bands, choirs and even Salsa dancing are typical for this lovely friendly Festival. The admission is £4.00 and children 14 and under are FREE. For more information and to book tickets visit the website.

The Nearly Festival held in the Abbey Garden in Bury St Edmunds.
Picture : RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTO

The Nearly Festival held in the Abbey Garden in Bury St Edmunds. Picture : RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTOGRAPHY

Nearly Festival, Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, June 23 and 24

The Nearly Festival returns to Bury St Edmunds for a third year. The family festival experience features fantastic acts live on stage, a dedicated kids zone, a delicious street food market with it’s amazing choice of foods and a chilled pub in the park. On Saturday there will be Bruno Mars, Elton John, Madness, The Specials, Black Eyed Peas, Sterophonics, UB40, Reggae, nearly acts. On Sunday you can expect Queen, Ed Sheeran, Chic, Little Mix, U2, Rihanna and surprise nearly guests. To read more and book tickets visit the website.

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