Welcome Back weekend sees town centre 'full' again

Welcome Back, Ipswich has been a roaring success

Welcome Back, Ipswich has been a roaring success, and residents and local business were thrilled to see the town full of people enjoying themselves, after being kept apart by the pandemic for so long. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Welcome Back Ipswich kicked off on Friday, and the event has been hailed as a roaring success. 

The town centre has once more been buzzing with activity, as residents and business owners have been enjoying three days of exciting and impressive events. 

Many residents have been enjoying browsing the pop-up shops in Ancient House, full of independent makers and traders.

Local businesses have done a roaring trade over the weekend, and worked hard to help give the town an incredible time.

Local businesses have done a roaring trade over the weekend, and worked hard to help give the town an incredible time. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ancient House is one of Ipswich's oldest buildings, and became a pop-up department store over the weekend

Ancient House is one of Ipswich's oldest buildings, and became a pop-up department store over the weekend, full of independent makers and traders. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Henry Moore was one of the local people out in force to help give the town a truly spectacular weekend.

Henry Moore was one of the local people out in force to help give the town a truly spectacular weekend. - Credit: Charlotte Moore

Welcome back Ipswich event gets underway PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Welcome Back, Ipswich has been a roaring success, with events and businesses pulling out all the stops to entertain residents. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

"It's so lovely to see that beautiful building in use again," commented one shopper.

Other firm favourites included the Reunion Art Trail organised by St Elizabeth Hospice. 

"It's been fantastic to have been part of the big weekend," said volunteer, Sue. "The town centre has been full of people again, and it’s wonderful to be at the heart of it.  

"It's proved incredibly popular with children, who’ve been coming back and seeing their favourite statues from years gone by. We hear they’ve been really enjoying seeing the films put on at Kings Street Cinema, too."

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Her sentiments were shared by Kinetic Science, which hosted this year’s annual Suffolk Science Festival in the Ipswich Town Hall.

"Children have been so enthusiastic," one member said. "I think for some, this has been their first introduction into the world of science, and they've been having a brilliant time."

St Stephens Church hosted 'Brighten the Corners' Outloud Music, an incredible two-day event

St Stephens Church hosted 'Brighten the Corners' Outloud Music, an incredible two-day event that Ipswich residents thoroughly enjoyed. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

St Stephen's Church was packed, as locals gathered to enjoy 'Brighten the Corners'

St Stephen's Church was packed, as locals gathered to enjoy 'Brighten the Corners' - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Welcome Back Ipswich has had the town once more bustling with activity

Welcome Back Ipswich has had the town once more bustling with activity, like this incredible performance by Ipswich School of Dance - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Cllr Elizabeth Hughes, mayor of Ipswich, said that the Welcome Back weekend had made a huge difference to the atmosphere of the town, as people took time to enjoy themselves and linger. 

She said: “It has been fantastic to see people out and about in Ipswich again. 

"People have been stopping me all morning to say hello and to ask me questions, and because of Covid, it has been a while since that’s happened.”

Goldie and her dad, Ewan, had a wonderful time meeting all the pigs from previous art trails.

Goldie and her dad, Ewan, had a wonderful time meeting all the pigs from previous art trails. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Lonnie with one of the Elmer elephants.

Children in particular had great fun at St Elizabeth's Reunion Art Trail, like Lonnie, here with one of the Elmer elephants. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Sisters Poppy and Lyra had a wonderful time meeting the Elmers.

Sisters Poppy and Lyra had a wonderful time meeting the Elmers. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Caoimhe with with her favourite, Ipswich-inspired Big Hoot

Caoimhe with with her favourite, Ipswich-inspired Big Hoot - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The Elmer elephant was back again by popular demand.

The Elmer elephant was back again by popular demand. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The team at St Elizabeth Hospice were keen to praise Councillor Sarah Barber of Ipswich Borough Council in particular for her support. 

Cllr Barber said: “We are thrilled to have received support from the European Regional Development Fund’s Welcome Back scheme to provide Ipswich with this amazing opportunity.  

The weekend includes events for everyone; our community can unite through art, photography, music, science and eco events. There is something for everyone, young and old, and with many of these events free-to-enter, it will be well worth a visit into Ipswich’s town centre over the weekend.”