VIDEO AND GALLERIES: Eel-ly good day as hundreds celebrate city’s namesake

Eel Day in Ely, the parade leaders (l-r) Eliza and William

Eel Day in Ely, the parade leaders (l-r) Eliza and William - Credit: Archant

HUNDREDS of visitors made for an Eel Day to remember on Saturday as the city paid homage to its famous namesake, the eel.

Eel Day in Ely,

Eel Day in Ely, - Credit: Archant

Large crowds made the trip into the centre of Ely to take part in the event with a host of activities including eel throwing, parades, history demonstrations and the traditional town crier competition keeping people entertained at Jubilee Gardens for hours.

The Town Crier Competition at Eel Day, Ely

The Town Crier Competition at Eel Day, Ely - Credit: Archant

Ely Samba Band were joined by Will Burton, the mayor of Ely, to lead the traditional procession from Ely Cathedral down to the Eel Day venue in Jubilee Gardens with an Eel King and Queen also helping to carry a giant model eel through the city streets.

One of the highlights of the day was the traditional town crier competition, hosted by Ely’s own crier Avril Hayter-Smith.

In the eel throwing competition, Simon Johnson, from Cottenham, won the adult competition with a respectable 17.7metre throw while the junior competition was won with a spectacular 15.4 metre throw by George Dean-Tozer.

Tracey Harding, tourism leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “The Eel Festival was a fantastic day as always despite the best efforts of the weather. Hundreds of people turned out to follow the parade led by four fantastic eels and the Ely Samba band. Then in Jubilee Gardens, there were lots of different activities for people of all ages to enjoy. There were so many sights, sounds and colours to which made the whole day such a unique spectacle.”