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Ipswich Maritime Festival 2019 - All you need to know

PUBLISHED: 09:29 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:06 13 August 2019

The first day of last year's Ipswich Maritime Festival ended with a beautiful firework display Picture: Twitter @allaboutipswich

The first day of last year's Ipswich Maritime Festival ended with a beautiful firework display Picture: Twitter @allaboutipswich

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Historic ships and vessels are lining up to take part in Ipswich Maritime Festival, one of Suffolk's biggest free summer events.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Matt Harris), with the Commodore (Adam Wright) and Elizabeth Swan (Kayleigh Burnard) at the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCaptain Jack Sparrow (Matt Harris), with the Commodore (Adam Wright) and Elizabeth Swan (Kayleigh Burnard) at the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out for the event, which will feature a huge range of entertainment.

Sarah Barber, the Borough's portfolio-holder for events, said: "We are really looking forward to another exciting summer weekend. With a wide range of activities, this will be a packed weekend of fun for all the family. Entry is free and I want to thank our own events team and the support of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines."

Here is your guide to Ipswich Maritime Festival 2019.

When is it being held? This year's festival is on Saturday, August 17, from 10am to 10pm, and Sunday, August 18, from 10am to 6pm.

Greg Daley of the Deeds of Arms military group at the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYGreg Daley of the Deeds of Arms military group at the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Where is the location? The festival will be held all around the Waterfront, including the island site and the northern and eastern quays.

Where can I park and how can I get around? There won't be a special car park for the festival, but festival-goers are being advised to use car parks around the town centre. There will be a land train and also a foot ferry to help people get around the site - these are free to use, but organisers say capacity is limited.

What ships and vessels will be there? Vessels which will be taking part include MV Kent, the barge Centaur, Pioneer, Touchstone and MBT Tornedo vessel. There will be an RNLI vessel on Customs House quay and Walton and Frinton's James Stevens lifeboat will berth on the marina berth. These have all been arranged by Haven Marina, and there will also be many more visiting vessels over the weekend.

Will there be pirates? You bet. Matt Harris, Maritime's own Captain Jack Sparrow, will be setting sail for Ipswich, intending to commandeer a ship and pillage and plunder to his heart's content! Also, watch out for pirate crews, Georgian-style sailors and marines, and roving Segway scurvy fighting pirates. Visitors are being asked to join in and wear pirate or sailor gear.

Tall ships and funfair on Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: TIM GARRET-MOORETall ships and funfair on Ipswich Waterfront. Picture: TIM GARRET-MOORE

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Live entertainment

As well as the pirates and various exciting re-enactments, street entertainment includes Bubbleologists walkabout. There will also be music from the Shotley Crue Singing Shanty group.

This is the full programme of live bands curated by Stephen Foster BBC Radio Suffolk on Orwell Quay

Colourful bunting and flags fly on the boats for the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYColourful bunting and flags fly on the boats for the Ipswich Maritime Festival at the Waterfront. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Saturday: 11am Poppy Scarlett; 12noon Phil Jackson and the Der Der Ders; 1pm Reb Capper; 2pm Tore Down; 3pm The Silburys; 4pm Hot Tramp; 5pm Jade Mayjean; 6pm The Bayhorse Boys; 7pm Back Porch; 8pm The Kingsmen.

Sunday: 11.30am Blackjack 59; 1pm Exit 13; 2pm Talk Of The Town; 3pm Lightbody; 4pm The Martells.

Giant inflatables and funfair: An octopus and a shark's head are among the weird and wonderful creatures which will be at this year's event, and people are invited to pose with them for selfies. There will also be a huge funfair, with rides for all ages.

Food and beer: Once again, the festival will include a food market with delicacies from around the world and sweet treats too. There will also be a fully licenced bar with a selection of real ales as well as a full range of alcoholic and soft drinks.

Ipswich Maritime Festival is set to return. Picture: Steve CoatesIpswich Maritime Festival is set to return. Picture: Steve Coates

Exhibits and crafts: The Maritime Trust will have exhibits on display at the event, and there will also be lifeboats on display.

Demos and workshops include Georgian-style gargoyle plaster cast making, pole-lathe turning, rope making and basket making, the forge and the gun deck experience.

Fireworks display: One of the highlights is the dazzling firework display on the Waterfront, which will this year take place on the Saturday at 9.45pm.

For more information and updates on which ships will be visiting, see the Ipswich Entertains website.

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