Festival of Suffolk organisers aim for a lasting legacy
- Credit: PA
Organisers of the Festival of Suffolk celebrations are hoping the event will create a legacy for the county's communities that stretches far beyond 2022.
More details of some of the headline events to celebrate Suffolk as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year and help communities recover from the Covid-19 pandemic have been unveiled.
The Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group has now pledged £10,000 to help with activities.
The headline events include:
Festival of the Sea – A three-week event incorporating the Lowestoft Maritime Festival, the Royal Navy, fishing industry, boatbuilding firms, the RNLI and celebrating their impact on the economy and communities. A flotilla of more than 100 ships will sail from Harwich north in June.
Business expo – Ten interactive business exhibitions will be held for key sectors in Suffolk’s economy, with a steer for young people also included.
Newmarket Race Day – A special racecard at Newmarket will be held on May 14 organised by the Jockey Club, with money raised going to the festival fund set up to financially help groups in need of support beyond the festival.
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Lets’s Rock – A retro 80s concert being held at Trinity Park near Ipswich on September 10 featuring Adam Ant, Go West and Heaven 17.
A Garland for Suffolk – A special book collating articles about Suffolk from 90 national and international authors, due to be released on May 5.
Youth Games/Community Games – Abbeycroft Leisure in Bury St Edmunds is hosting a family day of sport on July 9.
The Queen’s Green Canopy – More than 750,000 trees – one for every resident in Suffolk – to be planted through the year, with around 230,000 understood to have been planted already.
Festival Marathon – The festival aims to double the number of people taking part in parkrun events.
Torch Relay – The 540-mile torch relay will begin on May 13 and take two weeks to complete its run, celebrating the communities it passes through.
The torch arrives at the second day of the Suffolk Show where a Jubilee pageant will be held, before being taken to Lowestoft the following evening where the first of a chain of 70 beacons will be lit, coinciding with the national beacon chains being lit from London.
In addition, scores of smaller and community events will be held as part of the festival, while regular events that are already part of the usual Suffolk event calendar can feed into the festival.
Mark Pendlington, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, who has been chairing organisation efforts for the team, said: “The Festival of Suffolk is all about celebrating what is best about wonderful Suffolk, but is also important that the festival has a legacy.
“Suffolk knows how to party and can party extremely well, but the legacy point is hugely important for the festival to make sure when the bunting is put away at the end of this year what is left behind helps us to tackle the challenges that face us in Suffolk.
“This is a celebration for Suffolk and of Suffolk during the Platinum Jubilee. It is for all people and all communities, wherever people live, work, learn, visitors, everyone.
“We want everyone in Suffolk when they hear about the festival to feel involved, welcome and want to be part of it. This festival is for them.”
Mr Pendlington hoped it would bring Suffolk together, adding: “The golden thread through it all is compassion, reaching out to those who are feeling hurt, vulnerable, isolated, but also those who can make an even greater contribution to the welfare and future of Suffolk than perhaps even they realise. Let’s light that spark underneath people, places and organisations.”
Suffolk’s Hidden Needs Report and the 17 United Nations sustainability goals have helped inform some of the aspirations behind the events, the meeting was told, as well as ideas put forward by organisations and community groups.
Lady Clare, Countess of Euston and Lord Lieutenant for Suffolk, said: “The Festival of Suffolk will shine a spotlight on all that is best about our wonderful county. It will be a joyous celebration but will also address some of our toughest challenges, too.
“The festival will be for everyone, and I am so grateful for how communities, local authorities, media, business leaders, MPs, sporting organisations, arts and heritage and culture groups, and so many others are coming forward with ideas and initiatives to bring this festival to life.”
Visit www.festivalofsuffolk.org to find out more and details of events already confirmed.