St Albans Residents First event is rebranded again as part of Herts Big Weekend

Cllr Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism for St Albans District Counc

Cllr Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism for St Albans District Council standing on top of the Clock Tower. - Credit: Archant

It has been known as Residents First then Residents Enjoy St Albans and next year, it will be the Herts Big Weekend as St Albans council joins forces with a countywide promotion to showcase the district.

Herts Big Weekend is to held on April 1 and 2, 2017, and will take the place of the most recent incarnation, the Residents Enjoy St Albans weekend, held at the end of January to encourage people living in the district to explore the attractions on their doorstep.

St Albans council has now signed up to the Herts Big Weekend, an annual celebration of the county’s major visitor attractions.

The event will include many St Albans venues including the Roman Museum, the Clock Tower and the Alban Arena.

Other attractions that have traditionally been included in the Residents Enjoy St Albans programme will be encouraged to take part including Willows Activity Farm, Heartwood Forest and St Peter’s Church.

Thousands of free tickets to landmark buildings and other attractions will be made available.

Cllr Beric Read, the council’s portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, said: “We are delighted to be throwing our weight behind Herts Big Weekend.

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“It makes sense to combine our forces rather than duplicate the event by holding a very similar one of our own.”

He went on: “The feedback we were getting from those involved with Residents Enjoy St Albans was that the January date was a challenge due to the weather. It is a difficult time of the year to get an audience.

“Herts Big Weekend, on the other hand, is better timed as it takes place at the start of the Easter holidays so it makes sense to take part in this similar event instead.”

Cllr Read said that there had been a positive response from many of the attractions in the district which had participated in Residents Enjoy St Albans.

He added: “There is a fantastic amount to interest tourists and residents alike in our district. We think Herts Big Weekend is a great way to publicise that and encourage people to experience what’s on offer.”

John Carmichael, marketing director of Visit Herts which is organising the Herts Big Weekend, said: “Last year’s first ever Big Weekend was very well received with nearly 50 tourism businesses donating tickets and 13,000 applications from Herts residents – and we are confident that 2017 will be even bigger and better.

“We are thrilled that St Albans has thrown its support behind the 2017 Big Weekend by moving one of its own events and encouraging so many businesses to get involved. This shows such dedication and passion for tourism in the district which is what Big Weekend is all about. “