Alban festivities return this weekend

Alban Pilgrimage

Alban Pilgrimage - Credit: Archant

The annual Alban Weekend is back for another celebration of the city’s history and cultural scene.

The event aims to showcase over 2,000 years of the town’s history and heritage while promoting local shops and eateries along the way.

St Albans Cathedral will be kicking off the celebrations with the much-loved Alban Pilgrimage, telling the story of the martyred saint, Alban.

Starting at 11am on Saturday from St Peter’s Church, a procession of giant puppets, lions, Roman soldiers and roses will dramatise St Alban’s story as they make their way towards the Town Hall for his trial and execution at the Cathedral. Residents are encouraged to line the streets on the day and a selection of special services will also be held at the Cathedral following the procession.

Canon Kevin Walton said: “The story of St Alban not only belongs to the whole of our community, he is also Britain’s first saint.”

The Cathedral are expecting a record number of participants from St Albans and abroad this year, as well as filming for an American church news channel and the help of a commentator to guide spectators through the procession.

St Albans Folk Festival will also be running on the same day as the Pilgrimage. A local institution since 1988, this year the festival includes a day of free live music in the Old Town Hall and a Day of Dance in the city centre. The festival concludes with an evening concert at 7.30pm featuring Jim Moray, a top name on the folk scene and patron of Hatfield’s Folk by the Oak festival.

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Festival organiser Alison Macfarlane said: “With a whole new generation coming into folk music, we have more younger performers taking part, which is great. We hope to welcome thousands for this great celebration and spectacle.”

Visitors and residents will also be able to visit St Albans’s award-winning market on Saturday or attend a Midsummer Gala in Jersey Farm Woodland Park from 2.30pm, complete with a zipwire, live music and a firework display in honour of Sandridge’s 900th birthday.

Closing the Alban Weekend on the Sunday is the Alban Street Festival from 12noon till 6pm. Featuring artisan street food, live performances and activities for all the family, organisers are convinced that visitors will come for an hour and stay for the day.

For more information on the Alban Weekend visit