Ipswich Maritime Festival to be yearly once again – and the beer festival could be back too!

PUBLISHED: 16:45 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 21 May 2018

Ipswich Maritime. Picture: GARY DONNISON

Ipswich Maritime. Picture: GARY DONNISON


Ipswich Maritime Festival bosses are preparing to hoist the colours for the event’s return this year, as organisers have confirmed it will be annual once again.

Barry Hill from Motor Tug Kent at the Ipswich Maritime Festival. Picture: GARY DONNISONBarry Hill from Motor Tug Kent at the Ipswich Maritime Festival. Picture: GARY DONNISON

In 2016 Ipswich Borough Council said that the event would be held every two years in order to have a stronger offering, with a smaller Waterfront Festival in the intervening years.

But event organisers have now confirmed that the event will be every year once again – with 2018’s event set to be the “biggest and best” yet.

The weekend will run from 10am on August 18 and 19, and feature a host of new additions including pirate re-enactments joining the usual sailor displays, water taxis transporting punters from one end of the festival to the other, and a Jack Sparrow lookalike.

But a council spokesman has also confirmed that talks for a return of a beer festival are in advanced stages.

“We are currently in discussions with a beer festival partner to establish a beer festival again,” he said.

“Our official partner is Isaacs on the Quay and we are confident that together we will be producing the biggest and best Maritime Festival for the people of Ipswich and Suffolk.

“We are able to expand our offering and put on more attractions with a nautical theme – it’s still free and one of the crown jewels in the Ipswich events calendar.”

Alongside the new additions, the festival will continue to offer street food stalls and market, live bands, fireworks, and various vessels on display, with ABP on board once again.

Visitors enjoy the maritime attrractions Picture: GARY DONNISONVisitors enjoy the maritime attrractions Picture: GARY DONNISON

Last year’s event attracted more than 60,000 people, which prompted the events team to carry out a review into whether it could once again be a yearly endeavour.

Fiona Wright, marketing director at Ipswich Central said high profile events like the Maritime Festival were good for businesses and the economy in town.

“Giving people additional reasons to visit a place and create a great experience for them is becoming more and more important,” she said.

“Therefore a strong, relevant events and festivals programme for Ipswich is to be applauded.

“The waterfront festival is a great opportunity to showcase our town’s jewel in the crown to a wide audience.”

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