Roman Festival in York – ‘forum or against them’

From The Press

By Richard Harris »

ROMAN legions and Barbarian hordes will be back in York later this month when the city’s Roman Festival returns.

The event takes place over the weekend of October 25 and 26 and will be staged in the Museum Gardens, where a Roman encampment will be set up.

Co-organiser Keith Mulhearn said the free event, which will be open from 11am to 5pm on both days, will have dozens of different things for people to see.

He said: “There’ll be gladiators doing battle, Barbarians, Romans, a potter, weaver, wood turner and belly dancers.

“Things will be kicked off on the Saturday with a march around the city centre starting at Bootham Bar at 11.30am.”

He said all the Romans based in the gardens at the living history camp would be cooking, washing and sleeping there for the duration of the weekend.

This year there will be a night–time event at the camp for which there will be an entry charge, but which will include Roman food and drink.

Another attraction which is new to this year’s festival is the inclusion of a Roman bus tour around the city.

York-based bus company York Pullman will be offering people an opportunity of two tours for the price of one.

Visitors and residents will be able to buy a ticket for the standard trip around the city, but will also be able to use it for one of the specially-decorated Roman theme buses.

Apart from the bus looking the part, the guide will also be dressed in Roman garb and will be pointing out significant sites which are linked with the Roman occupation.

Keith said: “We have always tried to make the Roman festival fun and appealing to everyone.

“It’s all about providing information in an interesting way and I can think of no better way to learn about York’s Roman past than taking a ride around the city on an open top bus, whatever the weather.”

Tom James, who is the managing director of York Pullman, said: “York Pullman are proud to be part of this Roman Festival and look forward to providing top-quality, value-for-money tours for our visitors.”

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