Happy and Glorious - our verdict on Ely's Jubilee celebrations

Eel-izabeth (the new Ely eel) celebrated the Platinum Jubilee in Ely

Eel-izabeth (the new Ely eel) celebrated the Platinum Jubilee in Ely with a parade through the city prior to a day of festivities marking the end of four days of events in the city. - Credit: Terry Harris

The small – but vital – Visit Ely team delivered a magnificent four-day celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  

It was everything the city had been promised and offered a spectacular feast of entertainment.  

Ely may not be the nation’s official city of culture but judging by the numbers and the diversity of events it categorically snatched the unofficial title. 

Everyone will have their highlights – for some the lighting of the beacon symbolising a nation about to celebrate a momentous occasion. 

For others the markets and food festivals, the music, and, of course, Eel Day with the introduction of Eel-isabeth, the work of artist Cary Outis with help from pupils at Littleport Community Primary School.

The eel project was co-ordinated and organised by Babylon ARTS and it captivated the imagination of Arts Council England whose Jubilee fund helped to fund it. 

Visit Ely team members

Visit Ely team members who delivered a four day Jubilee spectacular - Credit: Visit Ely

Visit Ely is based at Oliver Cromwell’s House with a remit that includes tourist information and to “effectively market Ely as a key tourist destination”. 

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It is also tasked with staging key events to “promote the area’s distinctiveness” and on all counts few would doubt they did just that.  

 Tourism and Town Centres Manager Anna Bennett said, “Eel-izabeth is the perfect example of co-working, partners coming together to create a lasting monument to the wonderful Platinum Jubilee Celebrations here in the City of Ely.

"What better than this beautiful Eel to celebrate the return of the Eel Parade after three years? Truly a moment that will live on in many memories.” 

Eel-izabeth will make another appearance at The Carnival of Animals on Friday 1st July, an event which marks the end of Ely Arts Festival 2022.

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This week’s Ely Standard, out on Thursday, has done its best to capture the flavour of the Jubilee across Ely and East Cambridgeshire.  

Try it. It’s a £1 at your local newsagent or supermarket.