Hythe Venetian Fete – Historic Floating Festival!

The Hythe Venetian Fete has been celebrated on the Royal Military Canal since 1890.  Every other year, on the third Wednesday of August, locals compete for Best Float as they travel down river to crowds of onlookers.  Hythe attracts over 10,000 people and this year will be no exception.  The festival has an eco-friendly ethos challenging all entrants to power their raft via other means than fossil fuels. All food vendors are joining in with environmentally conscious crockery and cutlery.  2019’s fete was one to remember.

Family fun in hythe

The Fete is organised by a huge team of volunteers who have been planning for over 18 months.  With thanks to the sponsors who make the fete financially possible, the competition is on.  The event always starts at 4pm.  You can arrive on a Click2Cycle bike linking Folkestone, Sandgate and Hythe.  The team are there to help organise parking and safe transit to the riverside where you’ll find fun fairs, stalls, live music and food.  Floats will start moving down the canal at 5pm and will be flood-lit from 7pm.

There have been free concerts leading up to the main event, happening on the weekend before.  The music ranges from local brass bands, jazz singers, Country and Western to early 60s music.

Hythe Venetian Fete Programme
Hythe Venetian Fete
Hythe Venetian Fete
Hythe Venetian Fete
Hythe Venetian Fete Fireworks

Prizes and awards

Different community groups make the 28 floats, from the Scouts to large commercial companies.  Everyone competes for a financial prize and silver trophy.  There are also prizes and cups for the best daylight tableau, best floral, best dressed rowers, best illuminated float.  Not to be forgotten, the coveted silver replica of the Cinque Port Ship awarded to the best overall entry of the Fete.  EDF Energy will award a trophy to the most original idea for powering your float in an environmentally friendly way.

THe Best fireworks in town

After the floats have paraded and the awards handed out, the evening continues with the best fireworks display in town.  But don’t think it’s over!  Hundreds of fairy lights are lit lining the canal and the floating tableaux parade, as you’ve never seen them before.  It’s a magical sight not to be missed!

The next Hythe Venetian Fete will be held on 18th August 2021

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