Ely’s Eel festival weekend – Friday 4th – Sunday 6th May 2024

Celebrating 50 Golden years of the City of Ely

The Ely Eel Festival Weekend is a calendar favourite in May.

There will be the Eel Day Parade that will follow the City’s Eel Trail Heritage walk. You can then expect to enjoy some eel related activities throughout the day in Jubilee Gardens. A foodie’s paradise, you can also enjoy the Eel Food Safari that runs for 4 days.

Friday 4th May – Launch of Eel Food Safari
The festival weekend launches with our fabulous Eel Food Safari which runs across all four days of the Eel Festival. As in previous years, some of the finest restaurants, cafes and other businesses in Ely will be donning their thinking caps and creating a dish or beverage including or inspired by the Eel.

Saturday 5th May, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm – Jubilee Gardens, Ely
The annual Eel Day Parade begins at 10.30 am from Cross Green (adjacent to Ely Cathedral). Ely’s Ellie the Eel will be heading the carnival inspired procession along part of the City’s Eel Trail Heritage Walk – everyone is welcome to join in. Our eels are followed by Fruity Clave Samba Band who will lead the parade down to the Waterside and into Jubilee Gardens where a whole host of eel related activities will be held.

Special highlights include the British Town Crier Championship which we are are honoured to be hosting this year. Our very own Town Crier, Avril Hayter, will be organising this National event for up to 25 criers – so expect an explosion of colour and noise! Then of course we have the World Eel Throwing Competition (no eels will be harmed in this competition, just stuffed toys!). Can you beat the World Record of over 17 meters? This fun activity is open to everyone.

In addition, we will be hosting our first ever Morris Festival where you will see a variety of Morris groups performing all around the city adding further merriment to the day.

We have a full programme of arena events in Jubilee Gardens including Folk Music, Eel Pottery Workshops, Music and Dancing, Historical Displays and Re-enactments with lots of family participation opportunities.

Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm
Located on Palace Green, in the shadow of the magnificent Ely Cathedral, at the very heart of this historic city, we have over 75 artisan food and drink traders, an expansive street food scene and amazing celebrity chefs demonstrating in our fabulous Cookery Theatre, sponsored by G’s Fresh.