May 12 2011 Chester Chronicle
CHESTER is to fall under the shadows of the Roman legions once again as it is to experience a hue historic invasion this summer
As part of the MBNA Chestival 2011, the This is Deva Roman weekend will kick start the proceedings with plenty to do and see.
Spread over two days and starting on Saturday, June 4, Chester will be taken back over 19 centuries to AD110 and the height of the Roman age, to give visitors and residents the chance to see, hear and feel the excitement and anticipation of how Chester was in Roman times.
There will be gladiator fights within the hub of MBNA Chestival – the amphitheatre – which last year pulled in crowds from all over as they watched the spectacle unfold before their eyes.
The city will be alive with music and dance as performers take over the city, dancing and playing instruments that have been influenced by cultures throughout the Roman Empire.
There will be a large scale military march on both Saturday and Sunday during which hundreds of legionaries from all over Europe will be marching up Eastgate Street and through the streets of the city.
There will also be a large scale constructed village with tents and prefabricated buildings, and the gates and walls will once again be guarded and patrolled as they were 1,900 years ago.
Chester’s This is Deva Roman weekend is a unique event for adults and children alike, capitalising on Chester’s Roman history.
Its aim is to make the overall presentation hugely exciting, memorable, relevant, interactive, educational and most importantly fun for all the family.
Paul Harston of Roman Tours UK said: “We are hugely excited and proud to be part of MBNA Chestival.
“Last year we saw crowds of more than 8,000 over the weekend and we aim to create the same feeling again this year.
“Chester is well known for its Roman history and visitors the world over are attracted to our museums and historical sites.
“By bringing the Roman age alive once again within the city, we aim to bring visitors back to Chester to experience a historical re-enactment that will keep people talking about it for weeks to come.”
This is Deva is the opening weekend of MBNA Chestival, the summer events programme that celebrates Chester’s best festivals and events – it’s a vibrant festival to kick start the summer, bringing the streets, buildings and parks of Chester alive for 44 days and nights.
Tracy Lynn, Chester Festivals director, added: “The aim of the Roman weekend is to create something that will wow visitors and attract families to spend the day within the city.
“By capitalising on the heritage of Chester, the event is able to demonstrate the cultural importance of the city and teach residents and visitors the history of how Chester has evolved. It’s hugely important that our history is kept alive and the story of Chester is remembered for many centuries to come.”
This is Deva Roman weekend starts at 10.30am on Saturday, June 4 with the living history camps coming alive. The whole weekend of activities are completely free and further information can be found at www.chesterfestivals.co.uk.
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