Traffic will give way to music and dancing on Wednesday, July 3, when St Michael’s Street, St Albans will be closed from 8pm-10pm for the thirtieth St Michael’s Street Folk evening. After the street re-opens, music and singing will continue until closing time all over the village.

Since it first started over 30 years ago in 1988, this event has been held annually on the first Wednesday in July and has become firmly established in the local calendar, with the growing involvement of local residents, primary schools and the church bell ringers. This year, it will also be the opening event of St Albans International Organ Festival Fringe Festival and St Albans Arts Team has booked samba band Sambuka to join in by performing outside the Verulamium Museum.

The evening will start with an overture by St Michael’s bell ringers who will ring from 7.15pm until 8pm when the music and dancing starts.

Eleven dance groups, representing traditions from all over Britain and Ireland and the Appalachian mountains of the United States will be dancing in St Michael’s Street, with pupils from St Michael’s School doing maypole dances in their lower school playground. Wicket Brood, from Bricket Wood, performs the lively but mysterious dances from the Welsh borders. St Albans Morris and Phoenix do the quieter dances from the Cotswolds while Ramrugge Morris from Knebworth and Whitethorn Morris from Harrow, take their dances from the North West of England where the dancers’ clogs resounded in the cobbled streets. Tappalachian, will feature their showy dances based on traditional stepping from the Appalachians, performed in tap shoes, as the name implies. There will be Irish dances by the Louise Walsh Irish Dancers.

St Michael’s Village will be filled with music all evening. The Irish musicians from Comhalthas Ceolteori Eireann will join other St Albans musicians who play traditional music for an informal session in the Rose and Crown, while the sounds of many ukuleles, played by the Ver Players, will fill the car park and the Six Bells Allstars will be playing in the Six Bells. The closure of two of the street’s four pubs has led to a move to other venues and the Anglo-Cuban sounds of the Swan Vesta Social Club can be heard in St Michael’s Churchyard while Run of the Mill and fellow members of Redbourn Folk Club, will be singing in the garden of Kingsbury Manor.