Ely began a summer of celebrations today with its traditional Eel Day procession through the city.
Dubbed ‘Coronation Eel Day’ the spectacular eel focal point snaked its way from Cross Green through the streets to Jubilee Gardens to begin a packed day of events by the river.
And of course, an afternoon of ‘eel throwing’ which is much more harmless than it sounds!
The first Eel Day took place on Saturday 3rd April 2004, when the first eel ‘Ellie’ was created with the help of St Mary’s Junior School.
Since Ellie, there have been several other Eels named, ‘Eddie’ ‘Neel’ ‘Denz-eel’ and the current Eel which is ‘Eel-izabeth’, created last year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Not on show, today, are real eels. A tank full of them has been part of the festival but the Environment Agency have been unable to attend to look after them.
Anna Bennett, event organiser and town centre manager at Visit Ely, said: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Environment Agency are unable to attend the Coronation Eel Day this weekend due to a change in their event policy guidance.
“This is very unfortunate at this late hour, but it’s simply out of our control.
She added: “However, we are very pleased to announce we have smoked and jellied eels to eat, and stuffed (toy) eels to throw in our world-famous competition.
There are scores of traders and activities on Jubilee Gardens throughout the day – here’s the list provided by Visit Ely
Traders joining us are – Churro Boyz, English Spirit Distillery, Ada Baby Ltd, Shire of Flintheath, Now now South African, Skinny Slabs, Cambridge Freemasons, Tales from the Fen, Earth Charity, Tikka Tonic, Chocolate Tiger, Safta Face Painting, Ely Hereward Rotary, Don Arancini, Bam Bam Crepe, Pen Making, Cheese and Pie Man, Girl Guides, Mead Rocks, Kittiwake Jewellery, Mr Bee’s Brewery, Good Times Cafe, Watergull Orchards, Yum Yum Tree Fudge, Pecorilla Ice Cream, East Coast Chilli, Bumble Wellness Wax, Mile Tree Brewery, Mid Norfolk Smokehouse, Little Mobile Bar, BB Pizza, The Gin Jam Bar, RSPB, Guide Dogs, Glizty Vintage Jewellery, Sausage Dog Coffee, Wicken Fen, Spotted in Ely Radio, Lory Beat Art, Maureen’s Jewellery, Babylon Art Gallery, Ely Museum.
Arena programme includes:
1pm – City of Ely Military Band
2pm – Sing! Choirs
2.45pm – Funk It Up
3pm – Shire of Flintheath
3.45 – Funk It Up
4pm – Bujinkan Ninjitsu Ely Dojo
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