Skip to main content
Text size

Alban Day hailed as a “magnificent spectacle and a great success”

Publication date:

Thousands of people thronged St Albans City Centre to enjoy one of the most popular events of the year – Alban Day.

For the first time, the Alban Pilgrimage and the Alban Street Festival were held on the same day to create one unmissable occasion on Saturday 22 June. St Albans BID (Business Improvement District) sponsored the event.

The annual Pilgrimage – organised by St Albans Cathedral – involved a parade of giant puppets to tell the story of Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr.

The procession began at St Peter's Church and culminated in a gathering at the Cathedral Orchard where the execution of Alban was re-enacted.

Roman centurions, chariots and lions were included in the parade to create the atmosphere of ancient times.

A new addition this year that caught the eye was a puppet Peregrine Falcon, representing the rare birds of prey that have recently nested on the Cathedral’s roof.

Following the parade, there were family-friendly activities at the Cathedral Orchard.

The Council organised the Alban Festival which in previous years was held the day after the Pilgrimage.

It ran alongside the regular Charter Market and included exciting attractions such as live music at the Clock Tower, craft activities and henna tattoos.

Historic characters from the City’s past, played by professional actors, interacted with the crowds.

Windrush Day, which was also on Saturday 22 June, was celebrated with events by the Vintry Garden.

This included Caribbean music and food as well as the chance for people to play dominoes, an integral part of Caribbean culture.

Chris Traill, the Council’s Strategic Director for Community and Place Delivery, said:

Alban Day turned out to be both a magnificent spectacle and a great success.

We were delighted with the number of residents and visitors who attended to watch the spectacular Pilgrimage and then stayed around to enjoy all the wonderful activities that we staged.

The event brought many thousands of people to the City Centre which hopefully provided a boost to our Charter Market traders as well as our shops, pubs, restaurants and other businesses.

Vivien Cannon from St Albans BID said:

The Pilgrimage processing engaged the community in telling the Alban story to great effect and the celebrations that followed continued telling our community’s history as a place of welcome and hospitality all year round.

The Revd Dr Kevin Walton, Canon Chancellor at the Cathedral, said:

It was a delight to work together in this wonderful celebration of not only of our City’s patron but also our nation’s first Christian saint and martyr. Thank you to all who played their part from across the community.

Photos: Alban Day, 2024.

Contact for the media: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533,