Hythe Venetian Fete
The Hythe Venetian Fete is a tableaux of decorated floats, each with a theme, held every second year in August on the Royal Military Canal in Hythe. The Fete attracts thousands of visitors to see two processions of up to 40 floats, first in daylight, and then after dark when the floats are beautifully illuminated. At dusk, between the two parades, there is a grand firework display.
The event dates back to 1890 when the first parade took place. Organiser Edward Palmer, a local newspaper reporter, coined the name ‘Venetian Fete’ when he reported on the event and the name has been used ever since. It was held sporadically up until the outbreak of the First World War, sometimes as part of “Hythe Cricket Week”, and was not held again until 1927 after problems with heavy weed in the canal had been addressed. A further revival took place in 1934, when the organisation of the Fete was taken over by volunteers, operating as the newly formed Hythe Venetian Fete Society, and the event then took on the day and night format that still exists today. After a further suspension during World War II it was held regularly from 1946, eventually settling to a biennial pattern. Hythe Venetian Fete Society Limited is now a Company limited by Guarantee and run by a volunteer committee which helps to raise funds and organise what is generally recognised as a spectacular entertainment for up to twelve thousand people who attend.
The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust has been a regular supporter of Hythe Venetian Fete, including providing donations to fund one of the finest firework displays in the south east.