Ely Apple Festival
PUBLISHED: 15:29 18 October 2011
"For the first time, we had people picnicking on Palace Green; and we were busy from the moment we opened at 10am, right through to the event closing at 4pm."
IT was a perfect autumn day for celebrating all things apple, and thousands of people flocked to Palace Green to enjoy everything on offer at Ely’s annual Apple Festival.
The event was a resounding success, with a record amount of visitors taking the chance to savour the sunshine, take a look at the fabulous apple based exhibits and join in the fun.
There were apples of all varieties to be both purchased and identified, and some mouth watering food was cooked using local apples.
In the apple market, traders sold apples and related food products; while Watergull Orchards, formerly from Sutton, brought along a wide range of apples and juices.
Visitors were entranced by bee keeping and wood turning demonstrations; while children enjoyed activities, story telling, and taking part in apple and spoon races.
Folk music and morris dancing added to the carnival atmosphere; with the costumed Renaissance street band Ely Piper’s Noyze helping Ely Community First Responders to raise £119.80.
Ely Cathedral’s Stained Glass Museum took the prize for the best decorated stall; runners up were Crafty Chefs and Ian Curtis Woodcrafts.
The winner of the competition to create the longest length of apple peel was Duncan Sharp, who managed to create an amazing 4.6 metres of peel in one piece.
Tracey Harding, tourism team leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It was a fantastic event; we had more people attending than ever before, and of course the lovely weather was a great help.
“For the first time, we had people picnicking on Palace Green; and we were busy from the moment we opened at 10am, right through to the event closing at 4pm.
“The food stalls all sold out, that has to be a good sign for local businesses and everyone. The festival has developed over the years to become one of the best celebrations of the much loved fruit in the region.
“In the decade since the event began, we have seen an explosion of interest and demand for the many different variety of British apples.
“While the fashion and demand once seemed to be for the shiny, glossy apples, this is being replaced by consumers choosing the unique shape, taste and colour of the English apple.”