Ely's biggest event of the summer - Aquafest - is fast approaching so now's the time to get raft building

PUBLISHED: 10:53 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:53 06 June 2017

Ely Aquafest 2016 (PHOTO: Mike Rouse)

Ely Aquafest 2016 (PHOTO: Mike Rouse)


Ely's biggest event of the summer - Aquafest - is fast approaching so now's the time to put the date of July 2 in your diary and get building your raft.

Not only are there raft races, but to make it a really good day out for families there is the fun-fair, with all the usual rides for all ages t enjoy, food and ice cream stalls, and the arena acts which take place all afternoon.

Top of the list this year is a visiting group called simply “The Vikings”, who will be enacting scenes from the days when the Vikings arrived from Scandinavia, raping and pillaging wherever they went.

One of the organisers Eric Grant, from Ely Rotary said: “No doubt this group will be scaling it down a little! Anyway, it was the Danes who sacked Ely in those dark times.”

Another new act this year is the Atrium Demonstration team, who will be demonstrating exercises, while the Rocking Ukuleles will get your feet moving.

Solo act Harriett Maddox will be singing and playing while the 4th Dimension team will entertain with their dancing. And another new act is AFFW, who will show you how to keep fit.

Eric added: “It all adds up to a spectacular and memorable day for children and adults alike, and is a day not to be missed.”

The raft race is one of the main attractions of Aquafest. It all started back in 1977, when apart from the raft race there were canoe races.

The canoes went down the river, away from the main area, where spectators could not see the boats, and so quickly it changed to the raft race where the spectators could see all the action.

Spectators watch from the banks and from the bridge as the rafts go from Lavender Green up to The Cutter and back to Lavender Green.

The races are done in groups of three with the racers timed - so it does not matter which group a raft is in.

Organisers are hope this year will see even more rafts enter beating the previous record number of entries of 21.

With the racing three weeks away there is still time to get building a race winning craft. To enter contact Richard Tyler on 01353 662813.

Apart from the race winners there is also a prize for the best raft.

The city’s scouts will also be running their annual scout race on the day.

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