An estimated 17,000 people enjoyed a free summer street party in St Albans with live music, dozens of food and drink stalls and many family-friendly activities.

The city centre was closed to traffic for the annual, six-hour-long Alban Street Festival on Sunday - and this year, to celebrate St Albans' rich history, there was a Roman theme with appearances from armour-clad Centurions and Gladiators.

There were demonstrations of the ancient art of pottery while Roman soldiers showcased their equipment and tents. Families were also able to help paint a giant Roman floor mosaic.

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Photo: Stephanie Belton

Among other highlights was the UK’s Strongest Man Arena brought by the organisers of the Channel 5 contest which is being held in St Albans next month.

There were more than 70 stalls selling an extraordinary range of food and drink produce as well as arts and crafts. Two live music stages were positioned at either end of St Peter’s Street while other attractions included street performers, sand art and face-painting.

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Photo: Stephanie Belton

The event, organised by St Albans City and District Council, came the day after the annual Alban Pilgrimage.

That featured a parade of giant puppets to celebrate Saint Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr, and it also attracted huge crowds.

On Saturday, a clay model of St Albans Cathedral was created in a project run by Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild and the cathedral. Over six hours, people were invited to add a basic clay structure to what eventually became a large model of the cathedral. A similar project ran on Sunday, where a villa, amphitheatre, and all types of Roman buildings were created.

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The model of St Albans Cathedral. Photo: David Evans

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Councillor Mandy McNeil, responsible 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.

"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."