Preparations for this year’s Aquafest nearing completion

16:51 02 July 2014

The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest

The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest


Ely’s two rotary clubs are in the final stages of arranging this year’s Aquafest extravaganza, and expect it to be one of the biggest events since it started in 1978.

The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest

In its early days, Aquafest was a raft race first and foremost, with only a few stalls on Lavender Green. It was started by Stan Baker, with a small committee, and the first event was staged on July 16, 1978.

The idea was conceived by Stan following a visit to the Rotary Club of Axminster, in Devon, who were discussing their raft and canoe racing on the River Ax

Nowadays, a large committee of Rotarians arrange the day, with different members completing different jobs, and they work on the project for 10 months of the year beforehand.

The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest The sights, scenes and fun of Ely Aquafest

This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 6.

This year, Cambridge United’s FA Trophy will go on display.

United enjoyed a landmark season, scooping both the FA Trophy and promotion into League Two via the play-offs, and fans will be able to view both trophies on July 6 when they arrive at The Maltings.

Also new for this year’s Aquafest, which runs across two sites – Jubilee Gardens and Lavender Green – will be the Dogs Trust, which will be offering to microchip your pooch free of charge.

The RAF will also be at Aquafest this year with one of its military vehicles and weaponry as part of a unique display.

As ever, the popular raft race along the River Great Ouse will take centre stage but there will be plenty more for all the family, including dance displays, games, stalls, craft stands and more.

The event is organised by both the Rotary Club of Ely and Ely Hereward Rotary Club.

For more information about Aquafest, visit

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