The show must - and will - go on and what a day it turned out to be in Ely for the Morris and molly procession through the city
- Credit: Archant
Steeped in history – and a little blurred of late over delicate talks with council bosses – but Saturday’s Morris and molly procession through Ely was a triumph.
The Ely Folk Festival annual procession through the city brought out huge crowds to line the streets as the dancers gathered near the cathedral before gliding merrily into the city centre and through the market place.
Whatever the rights - or wrongs - of the recent dispute, these were buried and forgotten by the time the festival had started.
Talks between East Cambs Council and folk festival organisers reached agreement after what a joint statement described as a "very successful meeting".
A joint festival and council statement had earlier noted that "all concerns have been addressed and a managed procession will take place using the traditional route in harmony with the farmer's market and craft market.
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"The festival is steeped in history and the procession is a central part of the event."
Mayor Mike Rouse reflected the historical precedence of the parade by helping to lead and guide it through the city.
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"Thank you to the Ely Markets team for their help in guiding the traditional parade all safely through the Saturday market and thank you to the traders for their welcome," he said.
"It was a pleasure to join in the fun this morning - what a lovely reception from everyone."
Possibly suggesting all that publicity is good publicity, the show did indeed go on - Ely Folk Festival announced shortly afterwards that all Saturday tickets had been sold out.
Andy Wall, chairman of the folk festival, said: "The media coverage definitely helped in raising awareness of Ely Folk Festival's Morris and molly procession and getting us a meeting with the people at ECDC involved in this.
"Not only have we (the festival and ECDC, including Ely Markets) managed to keep the procession on its traditional route but we have managed to establish all the missing lines of communication to ensure that this doesn't happen again in the future."