Free summer party on Sunday 23 June

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News release: 10 June 2019

Around 15,000 people are expected at a summer street party in St Albans that is to have a Roman theme this year.

Alban Street Festival 2018
Around 15,000 people are expected at a summer street party in St Albans that is to have a Roman theme this year.

Among the highlights of the Alban Street Festival will be the recreation of a typical Roman street market.

This will take people back in time to the days when St Albans was one of Britain’s biggest Roman towns and known as Verulamium.

Stalls will be staffed by people dressed in traditional Roman clothes and there will be demonstrations of coin making and basket weaving.

Families can also take part in a Roman pottery workshop, provided by the Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild, or paint part of a giant Roman floor mosaic.

Among the other attractions at the event on Sunday 23 June are live music, street performers, theatre, dancing and face-painting.

The Street Festival will be held in the City Centre from noon until 6pm with St Peter’s Street closed to traffic.

The six-hour- long party, organised by St Albans City and District Council, has two live music stages.

At the Taxi Rank Stage, opposite the Beech House, there will be a wide range of local acts. These include Alban Bollywood, Just A Cappella, Hill Street Blues Band, Pixie Studios, Beatz Dance Academy, Nicola Anne and – to finish the event - Uptown Funk. 

Close to Market Place, there is the Curb-Side Stage where there will be cabaret, dance and comedy. Among the local acts are UR Crew, Purple Allstars, The Papersnakes and Brassbound.

There will also be a modern-day market with more than 70 traders selling an extraordinary range of food and drink produce as well as arts and crafts.

Among further attractions, there are puppet making workshops and a summer-themed cocktail bar offering exotic drinks. Other activities include:

UK Strongest Man Arena: a strongman challenge brought by the organisers of Channel 5’s annual contest which is being held in St Albans on the weekend of 26-28 July.

Oaklands Wooden Games: the chance to play amazing handmade games created by Peter Templeman from Oaklands College.

The Great Get Together: a quiet place for people to meet others and have a chat.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Tourism, said: “The Alban Street Festival is one of the most exciting City Centre events of the year and attracts huge crowds.

“The atmosphere is always fantastic with so much free entertainment on offer throughout the day.  There is something to suit people of all ages and interests and it is all set against the dramatic backdrop of our historic City Centre. 

“This year we are working in collaboration with St Albans Cathedral to emphasise the City’s Roman heritage as the event is being held during their St Albans Roman Festival, and I’m sure that will make it an even more fascinating spectacle.”

The first St Albans Roman Festival, which is organised by the Cathedral, runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 June.

It includes the annual Alban Pilgrimage on Saturday 22 June, featuring a parade of giant puppets to celebrate Saint Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr.

The life the story of the man whom the City is named after will be recreated in a procession of Roman chariots, centurions, lions and executioners. 

For more details of the Street Festival, including a map, see: www.enjoystalbans.com/albanfestival

For more details of the Roman Festival, see: www.stalbanscathedral.org.

Alban Street Festival 2018
Pictures: Scenes from last year’s Alban Street Festival.

Councillor contact:
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Tourism for St Albans City and District Council; mandy.mcneil2@stalbans.gov.uk; 07854-198999.

Media contact:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 01727 296130