After our usual Wednesday stint working as volunteers at the Pilgrims Hospice eBay office, we decided to take a look at the Venetian Fete which was being staged at Hythe in Kent (about 20 miles from where we live).
The Venetian Fete is staged every two years and basically it is a Carnival on water, with the floats being built onto pontoons which are towed by small rowing boats along the Royal Military Canal. The first parade takes part in the early evening around 6pm and floats are judged for originality etc. Then there is an interval and firework display, followed by a second procession when it gets dark and the boats/floats are illuminated.
We'd never heard of this event before so wanted to take a look. There was a fantastic atmosphere there with lots of food stalls and fairground games and rides. Friends/families settled on the banks of the canal early to enjoy picnics etc before the fun started. Hundreds of people were enjoying the beautiful sunshine. I'll probably post a few of the pics tomorrow.
The Canal is about 28 miles long and was built in the early 1800s as a defence against invading Frenchmen after the Napoleonic war. This Fete took part on a small stretch of canal between two bridges and was blocked off so nobody could view the procession without paying a hefty entrance fee LOL
We saw the daylight procession but didn't want to wait around for the extra hour and a half to see the illuminated one, so we escaped early to avoid getting trapped in the car park when everybody wanted to leave en masse. I took lots of photos though and it was good fun.
We explored the town a bit before the fun started - looking for somewhere to have a drink and snack. Had to laugh at the signs which were plastered all over the windows of a Nepalese restaurant which was being refurbished:
You'd expect the signs to say 'Wet Paint' But then I realised it probably isn't so silly as it sounds ... after all we do talk about 'waiting for paint to dry' .....
We found a nice pub with a terrace garden and enjoyed a glass of wine and light meal ... closely watched by this character who parked himself on the umbrella at the neighbouring table - he didn't get anything to eat from us though
Its been a long day so no more computer for me tonight