Ipswich Festival kicks off this week, featuring 17 days full of fun family events, performances and activities across the city.

Held from Thursday 7 until Sunday 24 April, the festival celebrates all that Ipswich has to offer and this year it will see an incredible line-up of new events, exhibitions, theatre work and music performances all across the city.

The festival will officially open on Thursday 7 April at 7pm with Fire on the River at Riverlink, an awe-inspiring display of fireworks which will light up the sky over the Bremer River.

On Saturday 9 April, the Global Market will see an array of hand-crafted items, jewellery and giftware, decorative carvings, arts and crafts from cultures all over the world.

Get creative and make your own flying carp, Japanese fan, maracas or Venetian mask. Get a henna tattoo or brush off your soccer shoes and play the world’s number one sport.

During the event, main stage entertainment will bring together diverse cultural performances. Enjoy the celebratory rhythms of Middle Eastern dance, Japanese drumming, Bollywood dancing, gypsy swing and jazz, as well as music from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bands and heaps more.

This year’s festival will also see In-Situ Public Art, an exhibition featuring work by 11 local artists who were challenged to create public art with the brief to up-cycle, re-use and express creativity.

The exhibition will feature work by artists Glenn Smith, Rebecca Lewis and Lois Kilmartin, Kat Roberts, Ron Brown, Charrisse Farr, Giuseppe Filardo, Michael Little and Kate Den Otter and Gary Abkin vs Andrew Spark.

Throughout the festival the A-Maze-in Mega Maze will invited children to build and create a cardboard structure of monstrous proportions, plot a course build hidey-holes and pop-up areas then explore it all!

Other festival highlights include; the Fabulous Sounds of the Sixties Show with the Darren J Ray Band performing hit renditions of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Gene Pitney, Roy Orbison and The Seekers on Friday 15 April, and Jazz, Wine and Blues featuring Frankie J Holden, Wilbur Wilde along with Skyhooks original drummer Freddy Strauks on Saturday 23 April.

The Ipswich Festival will be held from Thursday 7 until Sunday 24 April with a huge array of events, performances and activities all across Ipswich. For more information visit www.ipswichfestival.com.au