Ely Eel Festival returns for 15th year in May

PUBLISHED: 09:10 20 April 2018

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

Archant

Ely is preparing itself for the city’s 15th Eel Day with a four-day programme dedicated to the humble eel.

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike RouseEnthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

The weekend event, organised by the team at Visit Ely and spread across May 4 to 7, launches with an Eel Food Safari, sponsored by Sutton based company, Whizzle.

Tracey Harding, manager at Visit Ely, said: “We are once again delighted that so many of our local eateries have embraced the Eel Food Safari concept and come up with some fabulous eel inspired combinations.

“The safari is now a key part of our weekend and I believe we are heading for our best festival yet with an expanded Eel Food Safari, being host to the British Town Crier Championships on Eel Day and some pretty, impressive celebrity chefs at our Food and Drink Festival.

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

“A huge thanks goes to all our sponsors, without whom, we simply couldn’t put on this incredible four day festival”.

The addition of the mini Riverside Safari, featuring The Cutter, Grand Central and RKB, part of TLC Inns who are the main sponsor for Eel Day, means that you can enjoy a three course, eel themed meal alongside the setting of Ely’s Waterside.

Alternatively, there are Eely Good Platter, Jellied Eel Fudge and Eel Catcher’s Tea.

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

Eels feature heavily in all the events across the weekend and Ellie the Eel will be proudly heading the colourful Eel Day Parade on Saturday which starts at Cross Green and winds itself down to the river where a whole host of eel related activities take place.

In addition to the World Eel Throwing Competition - which is always a highlight of Eel Day - Ely has been chosen to host the British Town Criers’ Championships, thanks to Ely’s town crier, Avril Hayter.

Sunday and Monday see the return of the Food and Drink Festival now expanded to St Mary’s Green as well as Palace Green.

Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse Enthusiastic helpers putting the final touches to the celebrity 'eel' that features so prominently in the 2018 Ely Eel Festival from May 4-7. PHOTO: Mike Rouse

Over 75 artisan food and drink traders will be showcasing their wares. There will be a Street Food Scene as well as a variety of ales and cocktails with some easy listening, live music to enjoy.

The Cookery Theatre, sponsored again by G’s Fresh, will this year be host to celebrity haute cuisine teacher Rosemary Shrager and the original TV chef Brian Turner who will be demonstrating a variety of dishes along with some of Ely’s own chefs.

As well as being able to see them in the Cookery Theatre there will be the opportunity for a number of people to join the celebrity chefs in a “In Conversation” style Q&A session as part of the festival at Oliver Cromwell’s House.

For more information go to www.elyeelfestival.co.uk

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