ROMANS and Celts clashed swords, sneered and shouted as they marched through the city centre as Chester was transformed back into a Roman encampment.
Despite the threatening rain clouds thousands of people lined the streets on Saturday as hundreds of Roman soldiers marched to kick start 44 days of entertainment and festivities as Chestival began.
Crowds gathered to watch as the soldiers paraded past the amphitheatre and under the Eastgate Clock before congregating outside the Town Hall where they were officially welcomed to the city by Emperor Julius Caesar.
Children dressed in armour and helmets waved and shouted as they watched gladiator fights in the amphitheatre, while families watched clothing and jewellery being carefully crafted as Grosvenor Park was transformed into a working Roman Village.
The two-day event, which saw history lovers, re-enactors, families and pensioners travel from all over the country, saw the soldiers return to the city for the third year running, entertaining packed crowds with their perfect drills, shining armour and skilled fighting.
And dozens of excited children fought off vicious Celts invading the city centre during an action-packed battle in which the Kids Army claimed back Chester for the Romans.