Don't miss out on the festival season
YOU might feel that your days of dancing to rock bands in a field are over, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the festival season.
There are plenty of other fun events planned in the region this year which are slightly lower key than the likes of V Festival.
There are gentler folk festivals, food events and classic car shows dotted all around the county and beyond, which will still allow you to wander around in the sun (hopefully!) and soak up the festival-style atmosphere this year. Here's our handy guide to events for the more discerning festival fan:
Manningtree Vehicle Show – Saturday, June 16 - Lawford Football Club, School Lane, Lawford, near Manningtree, Essex, C011 2JA.
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Classic cars, modern cars and hot rods are just some of the vehicles on display at this fun event for all ages. Military vehicles, bikes, trikes, truck and scooters will also feature.
Other activities include an auto jumble, food stalls, live entertainment, 50's rock & roll band, display arena and children's corner. Call 0781 652 9877 for more details.
Fathers' Day and Classic Car Event – Sunday, June 17 – Layer Marney Tower, Layer Marney, near Colchester, Essex, C05 9US.
A wonderful selection of vintage cars and motorcycles will be on show in the castle car park. Other amusements include a children's play area, farm animals, nature walk, shop and tea room. Entrance to the castle and gardens is included in the entrance price. Visit www.layermarneytower.co. uk or call 01206 330784 for more details.
Leigh Folk Festival – June 21-24 – various venues, Leigh on Sea, Essex.
This is one of the largest free folk festivals in the country. Confirmed stars so far this year include Martin Carthy, Jez Low, Mawkin and Tom McConville. There will be international dance displays, ceilidhs, a beer festival, poets, puppetry, children's events and workshops. Visit www.leighfolkfestival.co.uk or call (01702) 715111.
Colchester Food and Drink Festival – June 23-24 - Lower Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1DN.
This food and drink festival also incorporates the Colchester Rose and Horticultural Show. Set in the beautiful Castle Park highlights include a professional display kitchen, music, fun events, food stalls and garden supplies. Go to www.colchesterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or call 01206 525527 for more details.
Essex County Car & Motorcycle Show – Sunday, July 15 – Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Cressing, near Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD.
Some of the best vintage, classic and modern cars will be on show. Other attractions include military vehicles, motorcycles and the chance to see look-alikes 'Haurel and Lardy'. There will be 1940s dancers, entertainment and food Call 01376 584903.
2012 Essex Festival of Food and Drink – July 21-22 - Cressing Temple Barns, in Witham Road, Cressing, Braintree, CM77 8PD.
This is a must for food lovers everywhere. Guests at this festival, which is in its second year, include celebrity chefs Gino D'Acampo, Aldo Zilli and Essex's own Mark Baumann. Highlights include a butchery demonstration, wine tastings, a food court, live music and more than 100 exhibitor stands packed with tasty, local food and delicacies. Go to www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/ foodfestival or call 01245 400878 for more details.