Ipswich Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK)

Waterfront view, photographed in the summerThe Summer Arts Festivals (Ip-art) is the crowning glory when it comes to the Ipswich events calendar and takes place each year from the end of June until the beginning of July, lasting just over two weeks. A multitude of different things to do present themselves during the Ipswich Summer Music Festival, with open-air Shakespeare plays on the lawn of Christchurch Mansion being a particular highlight for many.

First held in 1991, Ip-art has grown greatly since its early days and manages to offer more and more events, appealing to a variety of visitors and includes everything from poetry and literature readings, to live music, operatic singing, dancing and a carnival procession. Central to the festival celebrations is the Ipswich Music Day, which is spread over different stages in Christchurch Park and is completely free. There are also outdoor film screenings at Christchurch Park, as well as a traditional Indian Summer Mela.

Different photo of the town's vibrant waterfront area

Ipswich Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015: General Information

In early April, the popular Theatre in the Forest now enjoys visitor numbers of more than 8,000 and has become the biggest outdoor theatrical festival within the region, being organised by the town's very own Witchbottle Theatre.

Located on the south-easterly outskirts of Ipswich and next to the Suffolk village of Bucklesham, Trinity Park plays host to the Suffolk Show each year, which is generally held at the beginning of June. Around 80,000 people now pour through the gates of the Suffolk Show, coming to see the livestock exhibits, the children's farm, the show gardens and the flower arrangements, together with the endless shops and stalls, music events, family activities and handicraft displays.

In mid-August, the neighbouring seaside town of Clacton on Sea is known for its summer carnival parade, which heads along the seafront and passes large crowds of onlookers. This carnival day comprises a number of further events, such as an angling competition, a donkey derby, a sandcastle building competition and fancy dress. There is also a large fete and a serious fireworks display, which is to be found at Clacton's Gainsford Avenue Sportsground.

At the end of September, the themed Ipswich Beer Festival comes to town and takes over the Corn Exchange on King Street. Celebrating more than 200 years of beers and ales, visitors will find a huge selection of draught German and Belgian beers, local Suffolk ales and tasty ciders.

Further events in the Ipswich area are staged at Jimmy's Farm, including regular farmer's markets and craft fairs, garden parties and a Halloween Spooktacular at the end of October. The month of October is also when the Ipswich Transport Museum hosts its most successful fundraising event 'Come and Ride on our Buses', where some 20 classic buses drive around the town centre.

For the latest events and festival information in Ipswich, the tourist information centre and the town's local evening newspaper, the Evening Star, are the best places to look for details.