This year’s Aquafest in Ely will be biggest and best yet

Ely Aquafest

Ely Aquafest - Credit: Archant

ELY’S two Rotary clubs are in the final stages of arranging this year’s Aquafest extravaganza, and have confirmed that it will be the biggest event since it started in 1978.

Ely Aquafest 2012

Ely Aquafest 2012 - Credit: Archant

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.

This year’s event takes place on Sunday, July 7.

This year, fairground rides, water walkers, bouncy castle, helter skelter,

burger vans, ice cream and sweets stalls, beer tents and lots of informational charity stalls abound over both Lavender Green and Jubilee Gardens.

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A spokesman said: “It will be a day for all the family, from near and far, judging from previous years’ sales of the raffle tickets - where buyers write in their phone numbers - which have great prizes to be won.

“The top five being a first prize of £200 cash, a one week’s holiday in an apartment in Spain, tickets for two to Toppings book event, Star Radio studio experience day, and dinner for four at the Lamb Hotel.”