Celebrate 10 years of Ely’s Eel festival

This weekend Ely is going to be celebrating the tenth Eel Festival with an extravaganza of fun, music and food.

This year’s activities will last from Friday 2 to Monday 5 May and are bigger than ever to celebrate the ten year anniversary.

All the usual fun of the Eel Festival will be taking place from the annual parade, a full programme of arena events in Jubilee Gardens including folk music, pottery workshops, dancing, historical displays with lots of family participation opportunities.

However there will be so much more including:

*       City Centre Eel Throwing Competition on the Market Place on Friday. City Centre retailers and businesses will battle it out to be crowned ‘City Centre Eel Throwing Business of the Year’ sponsored by the Ely Chamber of Commerce. No eels will be harmed in this competition, they are just stuffed socks.
*       An Eel Food Safari which will see restaurants and cafés producing special festival dishes/menus such as eel shaped biscuits, eel bread, slippery eel cocktail. Participating venues will display an Eel Food Safari logo to show they are part of the promotion throughout the weekend.
*       Food and Drink Festival on Palace Green. This brand new event supported by G’s Fresh will see a fantastic line up of chef demonstrations running throughout the weekend
*       Ely Street Musicians Muster will see the City Centre come alive as a variety of period music is performed by costumed musicians who have been awarded their ‘Warrant of Entitlement’ to busk.
*       Market ‘Street Food Fayre’ – to complement Ely’s Saturday shopping experience, the Ely Craft Market weekly street food aisle will transform with special offers and promotions for a great range of street food available throughout the day

Tracey Harding, Tourism Team Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “The excitement is building as we stand just days away from this year’s Eel Festival. When I look at all the events we have planned for this weekend I can’t help but think back to the humble beginnings when the Festival began. We have developed from a small scale celebration of Ely’s connection to the eel to a four day spectacular with activities to meet the needs of young and old.

“There are some many great events from the food and drink festivals to the Musicians Muster and the Food Safari but if I am honest in my heart I will probably enjoy the parade on the Saturday morning the most. The samba music, the colours and the spectacle of the giant eel itself gliding through Ely down to the river sums up all the joy and excitement which the Eel Festival brings. So come along to Ely this bank holiday weekend for what is sure to be a fantastic time.”

For information on all these activities and many other fringe events keep checking out our Eel Festival Weekend page at www.visitely.org.uk and follow us on Twitter @visitely.

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