Maritime celebration on track

EXCELLENT progress is being made on arrangements for a three-day maritime celebration which could attract 40,000 people to Felixstowe this summer – and funds for the event are rolling in.

EXCELLENT progress is being made on arrangements for a three-day maritime celebration which could attract 40,000 people to Felixstowe this summer – and funds for the event are rolling in.

Grant aid of £8,000 has already been gained for the SeaBritain festival, and it is hoped more will come from sponsorship and other grants.

The weekend of events is part of the national celebration this year of the country's maritime heritage and in particular the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

It will feature a reconstruction of the invasion of the Dutch at Landguard in 1667 – the last time England was invaded by a foreign force – plus sail pasts, a spectacular fireworks display, art exhibitions, live bands and many more events.


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It is hoped a warship will also visit the town – to be berthed at the port so people can visit.

Resort regeneration chairman Doreen Savage said excellent progress was being made by the committee organising the event, which takes place July 1 to 3.

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She said: "It is very exciting indeed and everything is looking good – a very ambitious programme has been drawn up and there is lots of enthusiasm from everyone involved and they are all working very hard.

"The funds we have been offered are very encouraging, but we will still need a lot more.

"We are planning a special meeting, probably in early spring, when we will explain the plans for the festival to potential sponsors and hopefully this will generate more help."

The project has received an Awards for All lottery grant of £5,000 and Felixstowe Town Council is set to give £2,000 and has also put aside £1,000 to fund its own part of the celebrations.

The co-ordinating committee – which includes representatives of town and district councils and the chamber of trade – hopes the event will give a huge boost to the resort's economy and tourist trade.

The invasion by a Dutch historical re-enactment group would be one of the highlights of the weekend.

They will land on the beach and the march to Landguard Fort where Capt Nathaniel Darrel and his men successfully repelled the invaders in 1667.

The weekend will start with a huge nautical barbecue at Felixstowe Ferry with sea shanties and other maritime entertainment, and then throughout the weekend there will be sail pasts and opportunities for people to sail, and a large programme of events at Landguard Fort.

Live bands will play alongside the prom, children's competitions will be held, and there will be a special church service, also at the fort.

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