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Thousands expected at Christmas Cracker street party

Publication date:

More than 12,000 people are expected at a spectacular street party that will launch the festive season in St Albans District.

The St Albans Christmas Cracker Street Festival will take place in the City Centre from noon until 6pm on Sunday 17 November.

St Peter’s Street will be closed to traffic to help create a safe and vibrant atmosphere.

Among the attractions will be live music, a Santa’s grotto, scores of market stalls, funfair rides, a giant snow globe and street performers.

Much of the family-friendly entertainment will be free with something to suit people of all ages.

The highlight of the event, organised by St Albans City and District Council, will be the switching on of a combination of illuminations as darkness falls around 5pm.

These will include Christmas lights spanning St Peter’s Street lamp columns, the Alban Arena Christmas tree and special feature pieces.

This will take place at two locations so that as many people as possible can get close to the action.

At the Clock Tower, the Mayor of St Albans – Councillor Janet Smith – will host the switching on of illuminations on the historic building and surrounding feature pieces.

There will also be a countdown at the stage opposite the Beech House before a pyrotechnics display and the switching on of the St Peter’s Street column lights. 

The feature pieces and other lights have been financed by City Centre businesses, via the St Albans Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with other business sponsors.

The attractions include:

The Taxi Rank Stage: live music from a host of popular acts including the Hubba Bubba Band, Maida Vales, Kings of Herts, Make Believe St Albans, Excel Performing Arts and St Albans Bollywood.

Market Traders: more than 100 stalls selling a vast range of novelty gifts, seasonal produce and mouth-watering street food.

Poppycock Winter Wonderland Bar: mulled wine, luxury chocolate drinks and festive cocktails are among the beverages that will be on offer.

Clock Tower Corner: street performers and musical entertainment will all be based at this scenic location. 

St Albans Museum + Gallery: Santa’s grotto and in the learning studio, a workshop where children can make eco-friendly wrapping paper to take away. These events are supported by the Rotary Club of St Albans-Verulamium and Aylett’s Nursery.

Children’s Christmas Crafts Tent: a free activity where children of all ages can make their own Christmas bauble to take home.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Culture and Tourism said:

The St Albans Christmas Cracker Street Festival will be a terrific way for people to get the festive season underway.

The main objective this year is to celebrate our many local charities, not-for-profits and community groups that work hard to make a difference in our District. We hope to raise awareness and funds for them.

The festive programme has been developed with many organisations, including City Centre and District businesses, pubs, local media partners and a host of community groups which have been working with the Council to create a fabulous series of events to bring the community together this Christmas.

The Christmas Cracker will be one of the major highlights of our programme. We are doing things a little differently this year with some special features to make it even more interactive and Christmassy. I urge everyone to go along so they do not miss out on all the fun for children, and the whole family.

The event will also boost the local economy by bringing in thousands of extra visitors as well as showcasing our fantastic City Centre shops and the local artisan produce on sale at the market stalls.

Details of the full Christmas programme will be available here:

Councillor contact:  
Mandy McNeil,
Portfolio Holder for Business,
Culture and Tourism
Tel: 07854-198999.

Media contact:
John McJannet,
Principal Communications Officer
Tel: 01727 819533