Ely Eel Festival 2016

Ely Eel Day

Ely Eel Day

Roll up for the World Eel Throwing competition

How far could you throw an eel? That will be the question on everyone’s lips at the World Eel Throwing competition taking place on Eel Day which is part of Ely’s Eel Festival Weekend this Spring Bank Holiday.

No actual eels will be harmed in the contest – the organisers use toy eels. It is all part of the fun and just one of the eel-related activities happening across the weekend which runs from April 29 to May 2 in celebration of all things eel.

The weekend launches with a Business Eel Throwing Competition on the Friday at 11am at Ely’s Market Place where local traders compete for a trophy and title of City Centre Eel Throwing Business of the Year. No training, equipment or special clothing required, just the ability to throw a stuffed sock in the shape of an eel!

Visitors will also be spoiled for choice at the eel-themed food safari taking place all round the town at Ely’s cafes, restaurants and food venues. Look out for the Eel Food Safari logo being displayed at participating venues. Alternatively, download a copy of the map at www.visitely.org.uk or pick up a printed version at Ely Tourist Information Centre.

Tracey Harding, Tourism and Town Centres Manager, said: “This is always a fantastic weekend with so many businesses and organisations taking part. Along with our attractions, shops and markets, the visitors to Ely this weekend have so much to see and do.”

On Saturday, festival visitors will be able to enjoy a family fun day that includes the famous Eel Parade. Celebrating over 10 years of this quirky festival, the annual Eel Day Parade begins at 10.30am from Cross Green (adjacent to Ely Cathedral). Ely’s ‘Ellie the Eel’ will be heading the carnival inspired procession along part of the City’s Eel Trail Heritage Walk – everyone is welcome to join in!

The eels are followed by Ely’s Samba Band which leads the parade down to the Waterside and into Jubilee Gardens where a whole host of eel-related activities will be held. Special highlights include the Town Criers’ Competition where our very own Town Crier, Avril Hayter, arranges for Criers to descend upon Ely to add their finery and bell ringing to the event.

There is also a full programme of arena events in Jubilee Gardens including Folk Music, Eel Pottery Workshops, Music and Dancing, Historical Displays and Re-enactments with lots of family participation opportunities. As you would imagine, eels feature massively in the day and there will be the chance to see live eels. Obviously it wouldn’t be Eel Day without the opportunity to sample what was once a staple food in the Fens, so this is your chance to taste smoked and jellied eels as well as more conventional forms of food.

The weekend culminates in the two day Food and Drink Festival on Palace Green running from 10.30am to 4.30pm daily. Check out www.visitely.org.uk for the full line up of celebrity and local chefs demonstrating in our fabulous Cookery Theatre.

There’s so much for all the family to enjoy over the Bank Holiday weekend as Ely Market Place will also be holding their Mayday Markets weekend on Saturday 30 April and Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday 1 & 2 May.

Saturday’s weekly Craft Market will have arts, crafts, vintage goods, retro artefacts and collectables, as well as a delicious offering of street food including burritos, Thai noodles, dim sum dumplings and more traditional fare.

Mayday Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday have a great mix of stalls, children’s fair rides and family entertainment with another fantastic selection of tasty street food to go.

Check out www.visitely.org for more detailed information, call into the Tourist Information Centre or follow @ElyMarkets and @Visitely.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.