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Eight things to do around Ipswich over the bank holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:24 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 22 May 2018

Clowns Popol and Kakehole at Circus Wonderland, which is in Chantry Park, Ipswich. Picture: ANDREW PAYNE

Clowns Popol and Kakehole at Circus Wonderland, which is in Chantry Park, Ipswich. Picture: ANDREW PAYNE

Andrew Payne

Choose from all kinds of events this bank holiday weekend, including the chance to see the Dunkirk Little Ships, a sheep-shearing festival and an open-air film.

Circus Wonderland is set to entertain in Chantry Park, Ipswich. Picture: ANDREW PAYNECircus Wonderland is set to entertain in Chantry Park, Ipswich. Picture: ANDREW PAYNE

Circus Wonderland, Chantry Park, Ipswich

May 26-28

Roll up, roll up! This new show celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of modern circus in London, in 1768.

The circus features a blend of comedy and thrills. There will be lots of participation with clowns Kakehole and Mr Popol, interspersed with performances from jugglers, acrobats, whirlwind roller skaters, bouncing bungee jumpers and trapeze artistes in the intimate setting of the 400-seat Big Top.

For more details, visit the website.

The Dunkirk Little Ships are set to return to the Haven Marina in Ipswich this weekend. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Dunkirk Little Ships are set to return to the Haven Marina in Ipswich this weekend. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dunkirk Little Ships, Haven Marina, Ipswich

May 26-27

The Dunkirk Little Ships sail into Ipswich this weekend, and you are invited to join them for a close look and a special service.

The ships are all veterans of the heroic Dunkirk flotilla in May 1940. They arrive on Saturday and the public will be able to inspect them on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The visit to Ipswich, organised by the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and the borough council, will include a thanksgiving and memorial service, with wreath-laying, at the Ipswich Haven Marina at 11am on Sunday. For more details, see the website.

The film Mamma Mia is getting a special open-air screening in Felixstowe. Picture: PETER MOUNTAIN/UNIVERSAL STUDIOSThe film Mamma Mia is getting a special open-air screening in Felixstowe. Picture: PETER MOUNTAIN/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Open Air Cinema, Felixstowe & Walton Football Club

May 26

Enjoy the smash hit musical in the open air, and help a good cause at the same time. The film, starring Meryl Streep, is being screened on Saturday in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Doors open at 6.30pm, with a live band performing at 7pm and the film starting at sunset, around 8pm.

Hot food and drinks will be available, or you can bring a picnic. For details, see the website.

Elmer the elephant will be the star at events at Suffolk libraries this weekend. Pictured here is one of the elephants in Elmer's Big Parade, to take place next year. Picture: MEGAN ALDOUSElmer the elephant will be the star at events at Suffolk libraries this weekend. Pictured here is one of the elephants in Elmer's Big Parade, to take place next year. Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

Elmer Day Celebration, Libraries in Ipswich

May 26

Saturday has been declared Elmer Day, in honour of the colourful patchwork elephant, who will be the star of a special sculpture trail in Ipswich next year.

To mark the occasion, special events are being organised in Ipswich Central, Broomhill, Stoke and Chantry libraries. Young children and their parents and carers are invited to go along dressed in their most colourful clothes.

Timings for events at the different libraries vary, and there will be a range of different activities. For details, visit the libraries website.

A A "dancing postcard" will be performed at the Jerwood DanceHouse this weekend as part of the PhotoEast Festival. Picture: jamesprickett.co.uk

PhotoEast Festival, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich

May 26-27

Dance and photography will come together this weekend in this unusual free festival. Choreographer Tim Casson and a team of Canadian dancers will perform a “dancing postcard”, based on the memories of members of the community, at 11am, 2pm and 4pm on Saturday.

There will also be a photographic installation by artist Bill Jackson on display from 10am to 5pm on both days, and Nina Mangalanayagam’s Tangled Web of Belonging will be on show upstairs in the Whistler Gallery.

For more details of the festival, visit the PhotoEast website.

Funpark will be at Alderman Road in Ipswich this weekend. Picture: ARCHANTFunpark will be at Alderman Road in Ipswich this weekend. Picture: ARCHANT

Funpark, Ipswich, Alderman Road

May 26-28

A large mobile theme park is in Ipswich over the holiday weekend and during half term, with a wide range of entertainment on offer.

The park has a wide range of attractions, including two big new rides for this year, a waltzer, dodgems and children’s rides. Admission is by wristband.

Other attractions include waterballs, inflatables, stalls and games and a food court. It will be in Ipswich until Sunday, June 3.

For more details, visit Funpark’s Facebook page.

Baylham House rare breeds farm will hold its sheep shearing festival on Monday, and will be open all half term Picture: LUCY TAYLORBaylham House rare breeds farm will hold its sheep shearing festival on Monday, and will be open all half term Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Festival of the Naked Sheep, Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm

May 28

The annual sheep shearing festival at Baylham will be staged on bank holiday Monday.

The day includes live sheep shearing demonstrations, the chance to take part in preparing and rolling fleeces, demonstrations from spinners, dyers and felters, craft activities, face painting and a lot more.

There will also be a barbecue and a bar. For more details, visit the website.

A tea dance is being held in aid of Age UK Suffolk on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoA tea dance is being held in aid of Age UK Suffolk on bank holiday Monday. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cha Cha and Chinwag, Ipswich School of Dancing

May 28

If you fancy taking part in an afternoon tea dance, you can join in the fun on bank holiday Monday.

Open dance sessions are being held from 4to 6.30pm at the dance school in Bond Street, in aid of Age UK Suffolk. There will be tuition, a dance display, a charity raffle and teas and cakes.

Beginners are welcome, and no partners are necessary. To find out more and book tickets, see the website.


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