What will you be doing across Suffolk and Essex this weekend?

Suffolk Age UK Companion Dog Show. Photo: Candydash Images

Suffolk Age UK Companion Dog Show. Photo: Candydash Images - Credit: Archant

From four-legged fun, music by the sea and open-air cinema to sci-fi fantasies, storytime for kids and free family art days there’s plenty to enjoy this weekend.

Open-air cinema with Minions

Open-air cinema with Minions - Credit: PA

Suffolk Age UK’s Companion Dog Show, Sunday, July 3, Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead

This get even the grumpiest pooch’s tail wagging.

“This year’s dog show is a great day out for all the family, with lots of fun, not only for the four-legged family members, but also offering a range of craft and gift stands, refreshments, charity raffle and other fundraising games,” says Jo Reeder, fundraiser at Suffolk Age UK.

“The show has been organised by Roslyn, one of our volunteers, who is a dog-breeder and is well versed in the dog show circuit, ensuring the correct level of judging is paramount, along with lots of fun too.”

Rule The World, appearing at Thorpefest. Photo: Russell Breeze

Rule The World, appearing at Thorpefest. Photo: Russell Breeze - Credit: Archant


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Entries on the day start at 9.30am, with judging from 10.45am. Classes range from best pedigree and best cross breed to best rescue and waggiest tail.

Open Air Cinema, Ipswich Town Football Club, Portman Road, 10am-10pm, July 2

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Ipswich Borough Council has teamed up with the Blues to screen four films. Kids will particularly enjoy animated adventures Minions (U) and Inside Out (PG), while teenagers - and many adults - will love Pitch Perfect (13) and Dirty Dancing (15).

Fling Festival's Jo Peacock's Horse World

Fling Festival's Jo Peacock's Horse World - Credit: Archant

Thorpefest Music Festival by the Sea, Thorpeness Country Club, Saturday, July 2

Organised by TA Hotel Collection, nearly a dozen bands and artists will perform live from noon until 10pm, with parking from 10am and gates open from 11am.

These include Coldplace, Rule the World, Vicky Jackson, Everly Everly duo Roger and Colin, Reb Capper, the Ed Zachary Band, the Broadside Boys, Raindance, Older and Wiser plus JS and the Lockerbillies.

The Empire Strikes Back, one of many films represented at the Sci-fi at the Movies exhibition

The Empire Strikes Back, one of many films represented at the Sci-fi at the Movies exhibition - Credit: Archant

The evening ends with a firework finale and it’s hoped some £10,000 will be raised for local charities including the Kids Trust and Help an East Coast Child.

Storytime at The Quay, Quay Theatre, Sudbury, 10.30am, July 4

Held once a month and lasting roughly an hour, a theatrically experienced storyteller reads a popular book for little ones with lots of interaction.

Damselflies at Haverhill Street Festival

Damselflies at Haverhill Street Festival - Credit: Archant

It’s aimed at children aged four and under. It’s a free event and no booking is required.

The Fling Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Saturday, July 2.

There will be live music, comedy and cabaret from noon-11pm.

Headlining this year’s musical offerings are Indie-rockers Turin Brakes, who will only be performing at a few select festivals this summer. If that’s not enough to keep you going, there’s also a silent disco, dance classes, performance art, storytelling and clay making.

Sci-Fi at the Movies, Braintree District Museum, Saturday, July 2.

Includes original and licensed film artefacts from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Spiderman, Superman, Ironman, Supergirl, Predator and Aliens.

Organisers are extremely excited to have an original lightsaber from Star Wars The Empire Strike’s Back, a signed X-Wing helmet, an original Starship Troopers’ helmet and one of the first Ironman masks.

There will be a large display of Star War exhibits including Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Tuskan Raiders and Droids. See large figures of your favourite superheroes from Spiderman to the Joker and much more or design your own superhero. You can even dress up and take a selfie with your hero.

The museum is hosting a range of quizzes for young and old, while its Victorian classroom will be transformed into a magical Hogwarts one where you can take the Horcrux challenge and try on the sorting hat.

“This exhibition will be a fantastic opportunity to see many film props and original artefacts accumulated by a private collector from some of the most well-known science fiction films produced in recent years. A must see for any sci-fi fan,” says Claire Willetts, collections manager.

The exhibition runs to October 1. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am–4pm.

Free Family Arts Days, Firstsite, Colchester, 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm, July 2

Free events for the whole family with no need to book.

Activities over the coming weeks include the chance to create your own British flag using brightly coloured vinyl, cyanotype photograms, a meal through collage and Space and family portraits.

Haverhill Street Festival, Saturday, July 2.

Street acts will be entertaining shoppers in Haverhill High Street and Queen Street from 11am–3pm as part of the town council organised event.

There will be damselflies on stilts, a Victorian genius on a penny farthing, the curious Mr and Mrs Pigeon, Barry and Yvonne, ex-champions of competition ballroom dancing who have become outlaws of the dance floors due to their over enthusiastic technique and the Crimpline Crusaders, two octogenarian upholders of moral values who will be out and about with one thing on their minds - to keep the standards of Haverhill people high. So no slouching or texting at the back.

Nick Keeble, the town council’s arts and leisure manager, says: “It’s not often you encounter ludicrously-tanned ballroom dancers when you walk down the High Street or giant lovebirds in Queen Street, so come along and see what you can see. It should liven up your day’s shopping, somewhat.”

The Market Square will also see the first of the two-day Beer and Music Festival, run by St Edmundsbury Council. There will be more than 20 different craft lagers and real ales, plus live music featuring a range of local talent, craft stalls and street food stands.

Follow @WhatsonWayne on Twitter and check out our Event guide in the paper every Friday for more ideas.

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