Ely will be eeltastic this Saturday for the city’s fifth Annual Eel Day.
The day, to celebrate the humble eel, brings together a whole range of activities from eel throwing (don’t worry they are handmade toys) to 17th century re-enactments to highlight Ely’s heritage and historic association with the eel.
Starting at 10.30am, a carnival like procession led by ‘Ellie the Eel’, Ely’s Samba Band and 10 Town Criers will start from Cross Green next to the Cathedral and head along part of the City’s Eel Trail Heritage Walk, down to the Waterside. The procession will end in the Jubilee Gardens where a whole host of eel related events are planned.
Along with eel throwing, there will be puppet making, pottery making and tanks of real eels for everyone to learn about.
Tracey Harding, Tourism Team Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “The day is all about celebrating Ely’s culture and traditions and encouraging awareness and use of the Eel Trail. We hope to continue to build on this unique event each year and involve more and more businesses and organisations and further raise the profile of the Isle of Eels.
“This year’s procession sees the return of 10 visiting Town Criers in all their finery, as part of Ely’s Town Crier’s competition. The criers will gather on Palace Green for the first cry of the day at noon. Eight judges have been carefully selected from the local community and each one has a particular criteria to judge the criers performance on. The second cry of the day will be held in Jubilee Gardens at 3pm and the winners will then be announced.
“The eel throwing competition is also back and expanded to include adults as well as children this year. Based on wellie throwing, children and parents can battle it out to see who can throw the handmade eel toys, who all have their own names, the furthest. Last year, the winner threw over 17metres, is there anyone in East Cambridgeshire who is ready to take up the challenge? Or even try some smoked and jellied eels or make their own eel catching basket?
“Whatever the weather, Eel Day is always a success as it is so vibrant, colourful and extravagant but all about the humble little eel.”
Ely Lions, who have worked closely with East Cambridgeshire District Council and ADeC to bring Ely this annual event, will be out in force helping steward the procession as well as manning their traditional tombola.
For further information about the day, contact Tracey Harding, Tourism and Events Officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council on 01353 662062 or check out the website at www.eastcambs.gov.uk/tourism.