Ely Eel Weekend 2019 gets underway with launch event at The Maltings

PUBLISHED: 15:04 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:04 15 March 2019

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Angela Reeve 2016

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Guests including the Mayor of Ely, Councillor Mike Rouse, filled The Maltings Riverside Bar and Kitchen as organisers shared their plans for the 2019 event.

The launch, which was hosted by Visit Ely, came after the Babylon Arts charity launched a fundraising appeal to help save parade mascot Ellie the Eel.

Ellie has made an appearance at every Eel Day for the past 14 years. But each year the costs around making, organising, storing and repairs must be covered.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

James Stevens, of sponsors Cambridge Commodities, was also at the event.

Fleur Patten, who runs the Ely Rock Eels group and attended the event, said: “Fabulous launch. Hearty thanks to all the sponsors.”

Bridget Hickish added: “Roll on Eel festival.”

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

This year’s Ely Food and Drink Festival takes place from 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 May.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.

Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.Dozens of city residents and civic dignitaries attended the launch of Ely’s Eel Weekend and Food and Drink Festival, which is now in its 15th year. Picture: MIKE ROUSE.