Alban Street Festival celebrates St Albans’s Roman history
- Credit: Archant
Families mingled with Roman centurions and gladiators at the annual Alban Street Festival in St Albans city centre at the weekend.
An estimated 17,000 people attended the free summer street party on Sunday, June 23, which this year had a Roman theme.
Armour-clad Roman soldiers showcased their equipment and tents, there were demonstrations of the ancient art of pottery by the Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild, and families helped paint a giant Roman floor mosaic.
The UK's Strongest Man Arena was brought to the festival by the organisers of the Channel 5 contest, which is being held in St Albans next month.
Local bands and artists performed at two live music stages positioned either end of St Peter's Street, and there were also street performers, sand art, face painting, and more than 70 stalls selling a range of food, drink, arts and crafts.
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The festival was organised by St Albans District Council and came the day after the annual Alban Pilgrimage - featuring a parade of giant puppets to celebrate Saint Alban, Britain's first Christian martyr.
Cllr Mandy McNeil, portfolio holder for business, culture and tourism, said: "The Alban Street Festival was a great success with thousands of people thronging the city centre and enjoying a fabulous day out.
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"There was a tremendous range of free entertainment available with the whole family being catered for, young and old alike.
"I was very impressed with the Roman stalls which recreated the city's past as the Roman town of Verulamium, especially the clay modelling which was really interactive and attracted a great deal of interest from the crowds.
"Together with the Alban Pilgrimage, the street festival made for a fantastic weekend while the atmosphere in the city centre was electrifying.
"The weekend's events also gave the local economy a major boost with thousands of people from far and wide spending money with our local market traders and in our shops, restaurants and cafe.
"I'd like to thank our traders, businesses, residents and visitors, with a special thanks to the St Albans and cathedral events teams who put a lot of heart and soul into making this such a success.
"I can't wait to experience more of our district's incredible festival season."