Sun Shines on Love Felixstowe Festival’s First Year
Families from around the county flocked to the seaside between the 2nd and 7th of September for the first Love Felixstowe Festival, including the return of the town’s popular Art on the Prom.
More than ninety artists and craft makers lined the promenade from the Town Hall to the Spa Pavilion to mark the first outing of this much-loved event since Covid halted it four years ago.
Reintroduced by Felixstowe BID, who operate Visit Felixstowe, engaged Ipswich-based Art Eat Events to manage the event, organiser Iona Hodgson said: “We wish to thank everyone who took part in making it a huge success. We hope to return every year with a wonderful array of affordable arts and crafts from local, talented creatives.” Art on the Prom was sponsored by local businesses Goldstar Transport and Aquabridge Law.
Felixstowe-based artist, Alaco Doyle said: “The good weather brought art lovers out in droves. Business was incredibly good while everyone soaked up the sun and happy atmosphere.”
The seaside art show was just one event in a packed weekend schedule, with the Love Felixstowe festival taking place at venues across town – from beachside to pop-up food demonstrations in the town centre, as well as bands and entertainers at Beach Street, The Triangle and ‘The Front’ at the bottom of Bent Hill.
The six-day festival also featured Led Rides with Kwaremont Travel, business sessions and events at @inc in town and after-parties popping up at La Vida, The Grosvenor Pub and Bencotto in the town centre. Dozens of families made the most of a free outdoor showing of Mamma Mia and Moana, whilst face painters were on hand to add glitter to the proceedings.
The Greenhouse Café owner, Alice White, who hosted a pop-up restaurant by the Pier, said “It was a brilliant weekend and so lovely to see so many local businesses pulling together to celebrate Love Felixstowe. We are looking forward to it becoming an annual event.”
Sunday saw an aerobatic display over the sea by pilot Mark Jefferies in his monoplane the Extra 330SC, a mobile skatepark at Beach Street, as well as circus lessons and footie sessions (courtesy of the Ipswich Town Football Club Foundation) at the Beachside Events Area.
The festival culminated in Stage Five of the Tour of Britain on Thursday 7th September with cyclists gathering before crowds in the sun at the Beachside Events area before making the 120-mile round-Suffolk leg from Sea Road.
Residents, companies, and visitors were encouraged to decorate their bikes and houses to welcome the race to the town art. In addition, the BID encouraged businesses around the town to take part and get into the free-wheeling spirit.
Town Centre florist, Lisa Tumilty of Pretty Little Flowers in town was delighted to supply four bouquets to the Tour of Britain prize-giving podium. Lisa told us “Love Felixstowe festival was amazing, also being asked to do the flowers for the Tour of Britain I was so honoured. Felixstowe is becoming busier and busier – such an amazing town. Felixstowe is such a proud place to live work and visit”.
Felixstowe resident, Caroline Corker, said: “It was lovely to have so many visitors coming into Felixstowe and enjoying a beautiful two days. It was so well organised and must be a regular event. Viva Felixstowe!”
The Love Felixstowe Festival was delivered by the BID, with support from East Suffolk Council and Felixstowe Town Council – but the opportunity to combine festivities with the Tour of Britain announcement inspired a plan to make the festival more than just a weekend.
Felixstowe BID manager, Kate Cain, said: “We wanted to celebrate what Felixstowe and its businesses have to offer and our first Love Felixstowe festival was a roaring success. With the sun shining on Art on the Prom and all the activities going on around the town, we plan to build on this for the future. We want to make this a regular event for the town, but we also need to learn what worked and what to consider for the future.”
If your business is interested in being part of the 2024 sponsorship of Art on the Prom or being involved in any other area of the festival, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org