First festival to mark Alcester's Roman links with the past

Redditch Advertiser: Alcester's own Roman soldier Titus Flavius Juistus aka Mick Parker, gets ready for the town's first Roman Festival. Buy photo: Ref. RCR251403_01 at redditchadvertiser.co.uk/pictures or call 01384 358200. Alcester's own Roman soldier Titus Flavius Juistus aka Mick Parker, gets ready for the town's first Roman Festival. Buy photo: Ref. RCR251403_01 at redditchadvertiser.co.uk/pictures or call 01384 358200.

AFTER years of Roman themed events in the town, Alcester is playing host to its very first Roman Festival celebrating the ancient history of the town.

Roman events will be taking place all over Alcester town centre from Thursday, July 3 to Sunday, July 6 with Roman re-enactors, along with talks, displays, children’s competitions, and a parade along Alcester High Street.

Author Lindsey Davis will be appearing as a keynote speaker, at an event at Alcester Town Hall on Saturday, July 5, talking about her Roman detective creation Falco, and signing copies of her books.

The Roman Alcester museum will be displays some of the many Roman finds discovered in Alcester over the years from digs in Bleachfield Street and Stratford Road, and in a move not unlike the Antiques Roadshow, an archaeologist will be at the museum, to take a look at any finds, Alcester residents might have uncovered while digging in their own gardens.

Children will be able to take part in a school-wide competition to design a mosaic, as well as creating their own Roman crafts at the museum in ‘make and take’ sessions, and joining in with the parade.

People can get immersed in the Roman culture with Roman cookery lessons, and a look at the bloodier side of Shakespeare’s Roman plays from an RSC expert.

There will also be demonstrations from re-enactors of combat skills, and Roman crafts in the Scout Hut off High Street.

Organisers are hoping local businesses will join in with the fun of the festival, and local organisations are invited to take part in the parade.

Laurence Thatcher, chairman of the Alcester Heritage Trust, which runs the Roman Alcester Museum, said: “We hope to make this a celebration for all the people of Alcester. There will be things going on over the weekend in the High Street and the Town Hall as well as the museum itself.”

The event is being supported by the Alcester Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Chairman Sam Rath, added: “ We see this as something that will bring people into the town to join in the celebrations and are encouraging local businesses to embrace the idea and join in the fun.”

Most of the events at the festival are free of charge, although there is a small charge for the Lindsey Davis talk.

Tickets for all the talks at the Town Hall and St Benedict’s High School can be booked at reception in Globe House. For full details of the festival programme, visit romanalcester.org.

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