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Prize Winners

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The Hythe Venetian Fete is a tableau of decorated floats in various themes, historical and topical.
Held on the Royal Military Canal in the Town of Hythe every second year on the third Wednesday in August, the Fete attracts an audience of thousands from far and wide.
There are two processions of up to 40 floats, first in daylight, and then again after dark illuminated.


At dusk between the two parades there is a grand firework display. Historically the Hythe Venetian Fete was originally a feature of Hythe Cricket Week and has been held intermittently since 1860.
The early years saw the participation of national cricketing personalities and celebrities.
One evening of the Cricket Week when Hythe was "En Fete" the festivities were transferred from the adjoining Cricket Ground to the Royal Military Canal. Rowing skips, Indian canoes and punts, were hired for the occasion and were decorated and festooned with strings of fairy lights, candies and night-lights in gloss cups.


Strains of a banjo or guitar wafted across the water as the gondolas floated by, offering relaxed and sophisticated enjoyment.


In 1928 the Hythe Venetian Fete was held as the town's independent attraction. It was organised by the Hythe Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the Mayor and Corporation. It became a much greater spectacle than it had been in previous years. There were parades of decorated tableaux, depicting imaginatively presented themes, and as dusk fell hundreds of lights were lit up across bridges and amongst the trees. The tableaux individually illuminated, paraded again, presenting a fresh and fascinating picture, reflected in the shimmering waters of the Canal. The Fete was held annually until 1939 when the war intervened.


A handful of enthusiasts took the initiative in 1946 and the Fete was revived with successful years following each other and the support grew to thousands.


By 1954 the annual task of planning and organising became so time-consuming that it was decided to hold the event bi-annually, always on the third Wednesday in August.


It should not be forgotten that the organisers are unpaid volunteers with a committee running the Hythe Venetian Fete Society Limited, which is now a Company limited by Guarantee.


Thus the original constitution continues to provide a spectacular entertainment for thousands, and surplus funds are donated to local charities.