2,000 celebrate return of Eel Day
- Credit: Michael Rouse
2,000 people enjoyed arts and crafts, food, and living history as Ely’s annual Eel Fayre this weekend (Saturday July 17) bought some post-lockdown joy to the city.
Visitors travelled from near and far to be part of the event at Ely Cathedral, especially after it was cancelled last year due to government guidelines around the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stalls, entertainment and food were all featured at the free to enter event which had one-way systems in place to manage the crowds.
The fayre was scaled down slightly this year, meaning government restriction guidelines could still be met.
Visitors were able to meet ‘Ellie the Eel’ as she took prize position on the east lawn of Ely Cathedral.
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There was entertainment from KD Theatre, living history actors, local folk music, stalls, crafts and food and drink.
A small arena of events also took place throughout the day, with eel throwing being the main attraction.
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Tourism and town centre manager Anna Bennett said: “We could not have had a more beautiful setting for our scaled down Fayre in the shadow of the magnificent Ely Cathedral.
"We had a clicker, and 2,005 people entered the fayre this year.
"It was extremely well received and the Mayor even said that it was one of the best ones yet (and that was without the parade!)
"I took over the job in 2019, so myself and my team had time to reflect on how best to deliver an event for visitors.
"We worked late trying to get it through safety advice, ticking the boxes and having risk assessments for Covid.
“A massive thank you to all the traders who were fabulous in the boiling heat.
The fayre was all about the humble eel and its importance to Ely over the centuries.
Even though the event was downscaled, visitors still enjoyed all it had to offer.
“The entertainment set a wonderful atmosphere for the event and a special thank you to Spotted in Ely Radio.
"Also to Josh the singer, the belly and morris dancers - you were all fantastic.
“Visit Ely had an amazing day and it was so nice to be back holding events,” said Anna.