A RIVER of waters and flowers will snake its way along the nave of the magnificent medieval Ely Cathedral, when the Ship of the Fens hosts a spectacular flower festival.

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The four day event - to be held from June 20-24 - promises to be one of the largest events in the East of England this summer, with thousands of flowers making up more than 70 displays that depict the theme, ‘In the Beginning’.

Flowers, trees and plants will represent the land, sea, sun and moon, as well as animals, insects and birds, and each of the seven days of creation. There will be displays representing each continent, and special floral tribute to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, in the form of a life sized thrown.

The snaking river along the nave will culminated in a display under the famous Octagon Tower, with wrought iron screens decorated with blooms.

Festival designer is Roger Woolnaugh from Suffolk, whose designs have won medals at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. As well as the flowers, there will be a programme of musical recitals from choirs, orchestras and soloists, included in the ticket price.

Not only are there plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the festival, there are also several spectacular displays that can be sponsored by businesses and individuals. Coralie Green says “Whether you are a local business wanting to be associated with such a high profile event or an individual who would like to sponsor a display in memory of a loved one, or in celebration of something, there are plenty of options to choose from – just give us a call.”

Festival organisers are also keen to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer at this historic event. There will be a special flower festival presentation for volunteers on Thursday 21st February at 6.30pm in the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral. Everyone is welcome. If you are unable to attend or would like further details on how you can get involved please contact Linda Joel on 01353 660310 or email:flowers@cathedral.ely.anglican.org

A gala preview evening, that includes canapes and drinks in the Bishop’s Garden, is being held on Wednesday June 19, with tickets costing £35.

Tickets for the four day festival cost £10 each and are already on sale, call Ely Cathedral box office on 01353 660349.

Admission for groups of more than 20 people costs £8, call 01353 660359.

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