Things to look forward to in Waveney in 2021

Eddie Lambert, four, front, with Maya Day, five, and Elliott Barnard, four, inside the dragon on the

Eddie Lambert, four, front, with Maya Day, five, and Elliott Barnard, four, inside the dragon on the beach at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

While 2020 saw countless popular events wiped from the calendar, the new year brings new hope and new dates for the diary.

Here's six things to look forward to - Covid-permitting - in the 12 months ahead.

Geldeston Locks reopening - Spring, 2021

Members of the community group outside the Locks Inn, in Geldeston.

Members of the community group outside the Locks Inn, in Geldeston. - Credit: Graham Elliott

Just months ago, the future of the Locks Inn, in Geldeston, was in doubt after its former tenants moved out and the popular pub was placed on an auction list.

Almost immediately, a community group was formed to raise the funds to buy the pub, which they did at the 11th hour before the auction.

While work continues behind the scenes, including on improvements to the drainage system and refurbishments, the group are hoping for an "early Spring" reopening, although no date has been set in stone yet.


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Work begins on the Gull Wing crossing - Spring 2021

The proposed design for the Lake Lothing Third Crossing, pictured with the bridge open. Picture: WSP

The proposed design for the Lake Lothing Third Crossing, pictured with the bridge open. Picture: WSP. - Credit: Archant

After more than 100 years of waiting, construction work on Lowestoft's long-awaited Third Crossing is set to begin in spring.

The crossing - named Gull Wing - will cross Lake Lothing and link Waveney Drive to Denmark Road and Peto Way, and is expected to open in the summer of 2023.

While a decision on the project was due from transport secretary Grant Shapps in December 2019, delays caused by the general election, Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic meant the town had to wait until April 2020 for the green light.

First Light Festival returns - June 2021

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

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The return of the 24-hour multi-arts and science festival was one of the most eagerly anticipated dates for 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 30,000 people descending on Lowestoft and boosting the town's economy by around £900,000.

Determined to see it return, East Suffolk Council's cabinet pledged £140,000 from retained business rates in a bid to deliver the 2021 festival.

While organisers streamed a number of live events on social media, including for the Winter Solstice last month, there is hope the festival can return to the beach "bigger and better" in June.

Latitude Festival - July 2021

VIP tickets to the Latitude festival for 10 years also proved popular Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS

VIP tickets to the Latitude festival for 10 years also proved popular Picture: MEGAN ALDOUS - Credit: Archant

Latitude should have been celebrating it's 15th year at Henham Park in 2020, before the inevitable cancellation disappointed thousands.

This year, the festival is set to run from Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 25, and will take place a week later than usual to fall within the summer holidays.

Singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi and indie-pop band Bastille have already been announced as headliners for the 2021 festival, while Snow Patrol, who were due to perform last year, are on the bill again after having to cancel in 2019. 

CARLFest's 10th anniversary - August 2021

CARLFest 2018 event organisers at the Mariners Rest pub, Lowestoft.

CARLFest 2018 event organisers at the Mariners Rest pub, in Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Undeterred by the pandemic, CARLFest organisers successfully held a socially-distanced festival at the Mariners Rest, in Lowestoft over the August bank holiday weekend.

The invite-only event was also streamed live on Facebook, as organisers, visitors and performers continued to raise thousands for good causes in memory of Dean 'Carl' Lawson.

CARLFest will return from Friday, August 27 to Monday, August 30, 2021 for their 10th anniversary, with organisers promising to incorporate a virtual element this year after reaching more than 20,000 people on Facebook last year.

Christmas - December 2021

Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on.Picture: Nick Butcher

Beccles Christmas 2017 festive light switch-on.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

In almost every way, Christmas 2020 was like no other, from restrictions on visiting families to traditional festive outings, while public Christmas light switch ons and family favourite pantomimes were cancelled or postponed around the country.

While some, such as Bungay's Fisher Theatre, were able to host their pantomime, albeit with some dates cancelled as a result of Tier 4, plans will soon be formed for 2021's offerings in theatres large and small across the district.

Lowestoft's Marina Theatre and Beccles' Public Hall are set to return with Cinderella and Snow White after postponing last year's official pantomimes until 2021.

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