CHESTER is to fall under the shadows of the Roman legions again with an invasion on a scale that has never before been seen in the UK.
Spread over two days starting on Saturday, June 12, Chester will be taken back more than 19 centuries to AD110 and the height of the Roman age as part of the new Chestival arts and entertainment extravaganza.
The Roman Weekend will give visitors and residents the chance to see, hear and feel how Chester was in Roman times.
There will be gladiator fights within the newly refurbished amphitheatre, recreation of Roman structures, crafts, archaeology and historical traders to bring the city back to life as it was when Romans walked the streets.
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 with hundreds of legionaries marching up Bridge 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.
Chester’s Roman Weekend is a unique event for adults and children alike, capitalising on Chester’s Roman history in a way that has never been attempted before.
Its aim is to make the overall presentation hugely exciting, memorable, relevant, interactive, educational and most importantly fun for all then family.
Paul Harston of Roman Tours UK said: “We are hugely excited and proud to be organising the Roman Weekend.
“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 we aim to bring visitors back to Chester to experience a historical re-enactment that will really wow everyone and keep people talking about it for weeks to come.
“If you know your Roman history, I guarantee you’ll be really impressed!”
Chester’s Roman Weekend is the opening weekend of Chestival, the summer events programme that celebrates Chester’s best bits - it’s a vibrant festival to kick start the summer, bringing the streets, buildings and parks of Chester alive for 34 days and nights.
Tracy Lynn, Chester Festivals director, said: “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 evolved.
“It’s hugely important that our history is kept alive and the story of Chester is remembered for many centuries to come.”
The Roman Weekend starts at 11am on Saturday, June 12 with the living history camps coming alive.