What’s on in Suffolk, Essex and beyond over this weekend

Once Upon a Festival show Graffiti Classics

Once Upon a Festival show Graffiti Classics - Credit: Archant

Family storytelling, rural pastimes and art trails, there’s plenty to see and do in Suffolk and beyond this weekend - and here we bring you a round up of family days out.

Euston Rural Pastimes

Euston Rural Pastimes - Credit: Archant

Stowblues Festival, Museum of East Anglian Life, lliffe way, Stowmarket, Saturday, June 11 - 2pm to 10pm

A fantastic day of live music, with an Americana blues feel, comes to the Museum of East Anglian Life this weekend.

Also available for the day will be onsite catering from The Osier cafe as well as a CAMRA bar stocked to the brim with real ales, ciders, lagers and wines.

Call 01449 612229 for tickets.

Illuminations with soprano Sarah Tynan and nine circus performers provides a spectacular premiere to

Illuminations with soprano Sarah Tynan and nine circus performers provides a spectacular premiere to open this year's Aldeburgh Festival - Credit: Archant


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1st Combs Annual Duck Race, Saturday, June - 1.30pm to 4pm

Two thousands plastic ducks will be floated at Pikes Meadow in a series of three races.

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There will also be rides, refreshments, stalls and games to add to the excitement.

Aldham Old Time Rally

Aldham Old Time Rally - Credit: Archant

Once Upon a Festival, various times and locations in and around Bury Edmunds, June 12-26

Launched by the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, last year the festival is back - bigger and better than before with more than 60 live performances from leading national and international companies.

“I’m really delighted the theatre is producing the second East Anglian Children’s Arts Festival which we have named Once Upon a Festival.” says Karen Simpson, artistic director. “We’ve a really exciting line-up of shows this year and are presenting work right across the region in schools, village halls and arts venues including Theatre Royal, The Apex and Conservatoire East and in a wonderful tent in the grounds of the cathedral. The festival spans three weekends and there are many different ways to get involved.”

The Springfield Follies

The Springfield Follies - Credit: Archant

It kicks off with a launch day at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 11am-3pm, Sunday. There will be storytelling, treasure trails, the chance to try on costumes plus storytelling by Hatty at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. The Lost Story takes place at Mildenhall Library, 11.30am and 1.30pm, the same day. Unfolding to the sounds of the 1970s Nicky Mcroy brings a wonderful cast of characters to life and inspires us to believe we each have our own story to tell.

Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol, Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers, June 11-12

The crime-stopping duo from PAW Patrol drop by. It’s followed June 13-17 by the farm’s Mini Moos Toddler Festival with music, movement, animal interaction, magic, fun characters and more.

Euston Rural Pastimes country fair, Euston Park, Euston, 10am, June 12

Showcasing crafts, animals and country skills the annual event includes three arena rings and many popular returning attractions.

This year’s line-up includes the Devil’s Horsemen display team, trials and scurry driving, sheep show, gun dog scurry, heavy horses, the chance to sail a coracle plus displays of classic cars, steam engines, motorcycles, model aircraft and dog shows.

A 100-metre street party will mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, with partygo-ers invited to bring along picnics or enjoy food and refreshments from the many on-site vendors while watching a Mustang air display and soaking up the atmosphere.

St Genevieve’s Church, at Euston Park, will be hosting a themed flower festival while there will also be a crafts area with demonstrations and trade stalls.

Chris Fogden, chairman of the organising committee, says: “Euston Rural Pastimes is set to be another packed and entertaining day, raising funds for good causes including St Nicholas Hospice Care and local churches. Over the years, we have raised nearly £500,000 for charities.”

Visit www.eustonruralpastimes.org.uk for more details.

Aldeburgh Art Trail / Aldburgh Festival, various times, various dates

Anne Steel will be exhibiting at Thellusson Lodge, Church Walk, June 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26. The graphic designer has been collecting broken pieces of jewellery for many years and now has begun turning them into collectible creatures.

Mostly birds and animals, each piece is a one-off and can take months or even years to make as she often has to wait until she can find the right shaped piece to complete the design. Some of the designs use very old, antique pieces of fine gold and silver as well as semi-precious stones.

Steel will be hosting her first exhibition as part of the Aldeburgh Art Trail, held to coincide with the Aldeburgh Festival.

She’ll be joined at Thellusson Lodge by Suffolk artist Lamorna Goodon.

Aldeburgh Studio Trail features free entry to 19 studios showing paintings, pottery, printmaking, jewellery, hat design and sculpture. Visit www.aldeburghstudiostrail.co.uk for more details.

This year’s Aldeburgh Festival runs June 10-26. The centrepiece is a 20-hour marathon of music and birdsong from sunrise to midnight including a free dusk concert outdoors at RSPB Minsmere. Other highlights include Illuminations, a newly-commissioned staging of music by Britten and other compos-ers fusing music and contemporary circus performance and free music every lunchtime on the Bandstand on the Beach.

There will also be walks, talks and films and 30 plus non-classical events at The Pumphouse fringe. Visit www.aldeburgh.co.uk for the full line-up.

Aldham Old Time Rally, Chalkney Meadows, White Colne,10am, June 11-12

Organised by the NE Essex Tractor and Engine Club and the Earls Colne Scouting Group, the steam rally is now in its 39th year.

Ther will be steam traction engines and miniatures, tractors, military and commer-cial vehicles, motorcycles, cars, stationary engines, horticultural machines, stalls, crafts, an auction, autojumble, fairground, ring parades and more.

Eurovision Variety Show 2016, St Augustine’s Church Hall, Ipswich, 7.30pm, June 11; 2.30pm and 7.30pm, June 18

The Springfield Follies present a fun-filled family show featuring singing and dancing.

Introduced by the Ipswich-based amateur dramatic group’s master of ceremonies, it consists of songs from past Eurovision contests along with sketches too.

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