Students at Littleport Community Primary School help to get ‘Eel-izabeth’ ready to celebrate Visit Ely’s Eel Parade

Students at Littleport Community Primary School help to get ‘Eel-izabeth’ ready to celebrate Visit Ely’s Eel Parade

On Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th May, Year 5 pupils from Littleport Community Primary School assisted in decorating a new carnival eel, named ‘Eel-izabeth’, ready for the Queen’s Jubilee inspired Eel Parade on Sunday 5th June.

Babylon ARTS commissioned artist Cary Outis to lead the sessions, tie-dyeing three sections of five  metres of cotton muslin that will make up the body of the eel. Over the two days, 60 students got to work binding the material using beads, marbles and rubber bands, which was then submerged into the indigo solution, to create circular patterns once dried out and unbound. The students also used tie-dyeing on thicker cotton, which will be used to create individual flags to proudly wave as part of the parade procession.

Cary said, “The children were fantastic, getting stuck into the activity and having fun with it! Tie-dyeing is a very freeing process which allows the children to be creative without many restrictions. It was inspiring to see how they all came together to get the huge project done so quickly. I can’t wait to see ‘Eel-izabeth’ on the day in all her glory!”

The pupils have been invited to attend the parade to see and walk-beside the carnival eel that they helped to create. Chief Executive of Babylon ARTS, Claire Somerville said “We are so pleased to have Littleport Primary involved in the project, and thank the Kingfisher and Nightjar classes and their teachers for their help in making our new carnival eel. Thanks to a grant from the Arts Council / Cambridgeshire Community Foundation Jubilee Fund, we can offer free transport to the parade for pupils involved and would encourage them, as well as local residents to attend the celebrations to see the final result.”

The Eel Parade will start from the Cathedral at 10.30am on Sunday 5th June and will wiggle its way down the High Street and Forehill to the river, where it comes to a stop in Jubilee Gardens, where Visit Ely have organised food stalls and entertainment. 

Anna Bennett, Elys Tourism & Town Centre Manager added “We are so excited and pleased to be able to deliver to Ely’s community and our visitors, the Jubil-EEL parade! The last time the Eels paraded down our High Street was in 2019, so we’ve had a long wait! We are also thrilled to welcome EEL-izabeth to our parade and together with the glorious bunting and flags that will adorn the route, I think we will do Her Majesty The Queen proud!”

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