Town to host biggest World Cup fan festival in country

WORLD CUP: Thousands of football fans are set to descend on the town’s largest park this summer to celebrate the start of England’s bid to win the biggest prize in sport.

The national team will be taking on the USA in its first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on June 12.

More than 20,000 supporters will be able to enjoy all the action live on a massive screen in Chantry Park during what is thought to be the biggest fan event in the UK.

The Ipswich World Cup Fan Festival will kick off at 2pm complete with food stands, two 40ft-long bars, children’s games, funfair rides and coverage of other matches, with the big game against Group C rivals the USA starting at 7.30pm.

The two other England first-round matches will also be screened in the park, with the games against Algeria on June 18 and Slovenia on June 23 sure to draw big crowds.

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Should Fabio Capello’s men make it through the group stage, the two possible dates for the second-round match have also been pencilled-in.

The fan festival has been organised by promotions firm GroundING and Ipswich Borough Council, with The Evening Star being the main media sponsor. The free tickets can only be obtained online.

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A spokesman said: “More than 20,000 football fans will be given the chance to watch World Cup matches in Chantry Park this summer thanks to a new fan zone, to be the largest public viewing space in the county.

“Thanks to events company GroupING and Ipswich Council, fans will be able to watch England games on a 24,700sqm plateau, on a giant 50sqm screen.

“There will be a penalty shoot-out for fans to take part in and fairground rides for children. A local brass band will also be on hand to whip up a real crowd atmosphere for the games against Algeria, Slovenia and the United States.”

There are also scheduled to be appearances from top pop acts Pixie Lott, the Sugababes, Dizzee Rascal and N-Dubz, although this has not been confirmed.

To reserve tickets or find out more about VIP Golden Circle passes, in order to get closer to the screen, visit

n How will you be going World Cup crazy? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

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