Big Crowds Expected for Hythe Venetian Fete

Published on August 19th, 2019

The biennial Hythe Venetian Fete, one of the traditional highlights of Kent’s events calendar, returns to the Royal Military Canal on Wednesday 21 August. This carnival parade is a collection of floating tableaux, combining pageantry, live music and a range of family entertainment. Thousands of people are expected to watch and enjoy the occasion, which will include an impressive firework display courtesy of Universal Fireworks and funded by The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

Hythe Venetian Fete was first staged in 1890 and has been held in its present form since 1954. It is managed by the Hythe Venetian Fete Society, a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers.

The fete is declared officially open by the Mayor of Hythe at 7pm, following which the first of two processions takes place in daylight. Spectators can view the show, which lasts about an hour, from either bank of a half-mile stretch of the historic canal. After a half hour break, during which the firework display takes place, the second, illuminated procession travels along the same route, but with the floats and canal arena now transformed using decorative and spectacular lighting effects.

Around thirty floats are entered, designed and constructed by local businesses, community organisations and sports and scouts groups, who all compete in a range of categories for the honour of being declared best entry. The Fete is made possible through the time given not only by its organising committee but by the hundreds of volunteers who help to prepare the site and to provide stewarding. Most of the costs of staging the event are recovered from sales of tickets, but the organisers also rely heavily on sponsorship and charitable donations. In 2019 the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has provided a grant of £20,000 to help underpin the organising costs and for the firework display.

Although parts of the arena have sold out in advance, tickets will be available on the door. More information is available at Hythe Venetian Fete.