Major festivals and events

Find out more about our annual events - Herts County Show, Harpenden Carnival, the Alban Pilgrimage, St Albans Folk Festival, CAMRA St Albans Beer Festival, St Albans Food and Drink Festival, and many more.

Information on these and a whole host of other events happening around the city and district can also be found in the Events search list.

Herts Big Weekend

Saturday 24th March and Sunday 25th March 2018 During English Tourism Week, Hertfordshire residents get the chance to enjoy an amazing day out in their county for FREE in the Herts Big Weekend! Herts residents can apply for as many tickets as they like at from 8th February to 11th March. Some attractions are open for free over the weekend, even without tickets from the ballot.

SuStAinable St Albans Week

Saturday 21st April to Sunday 29th April 2018 This vibrant and award-winning week is packed with events and activities to do with the environment, taking place across the district.  There is something for everyone; food and films, walks and talks, kids’ activities and special offers.  Look online to see all the details, including the prestigious opening event “Our Planet, Our Future” in Harpenden and the finale, the “Know How Festival” in St Albans.

Beating the Bounds

Sunday 13th May 2018 Beating the Bounds is a traditional ceremony dating back to medieval times and involves members of the community walking the boundary of St Albans. During the ceremony, people taking part in the event will be invited to beat the 'bounds' with willow wands at key locations along the 3 mile route. The procession, led by the Mayor and officers of the district council will follow the medieval boundary of the town as defined in 1327. The procession takes around 2 hours. Free.

Hertfordshire County Show

Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May 2018 The Hertfordshire County Showground is the setting for many events throughout the year, including the annual Hertfordshire County Show, which traditionally takes place over the late May Bank Holiday weekend. The event attracts up to 38,000 visitors and displays the best of Hertfordshire. Come and see animals ranging from huge bulls to tiny ducks, spectacular displays and educational demonstrations. Join us for a fantastic family day out, combining free entertainment, fun, food and shopping.

St Albans Steam and Country Show

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June 2018 A full day's entertainment will be available for everyone. In addition to the old engines and farm equipment there will be stalls, a fairground and refreshments including a licensed bar. Demonstrations will be set up to show how the old equipment was used in days gone by. A working sawbench, threshing machine, stone crusher and other machinery will be at work. Ring events and parades will enable all the mobile exhibits to be moved on the field (if weather conditions allow).

Harpenden Carnival

Saturday 9th June 2018 Harpenden Round Table and Harpenden Town Council bring you the 53rd Harpenden Carnival. The theme will be the Wild West, and there will be a procession through the High Street, live music on stage, and lots of stalls and side shows. In the main arena there will be Wild West themed acts, including a lasso & whip-cracking show and line dancing workshops!

Art on the Common

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June 2018 Established for over 30 years, Art on the Common is Hertfordshire's premier outdoor art event, set on a wonderful tree lined section of Harpenden Common close to the Town centre. The two day event showcases the very best of local art including paintings, ceramics, fine art photography, sculpture, jewellery, glass, wood and handmade greeting cards.

St Albans Half Marathon

Sunday 10th June 2018 A community focused event, St Albans Half Marathon aims to raise money for local charities and organisations as well as put on a great day out for all the family. Those looking for a challenge can take on the scenic Half Marathon or Walking Half Marathon, which takes you on a challenging but rewarding route through the country lanes of St Albans.

St Albans Folk Festival

Friday 15th to Sunday 17th June 2018 St Albans Folk Festival will take place from 15th to 17th June with the main events on Saturday June 16th. These will include a Day of Dance, free showcase performances, sessions, singarounds, workshops and a festival concert featuring The Dovetail Trio, Granny’s Attic, Watford Folk Club song competition winner, Julian Mount and a New Roots finalist.

The Alban Pilgrimage - part of Alban Weekend

Saturday 23rd June 2018 St Albans Cathedral is delighted to bring you the spectacular Alban Pilgrimage, a celebration of the life of Saint Alban who gave the City its name. This unique and dramatic event sees giant carnival puppets retrace Alban's last steps and tell his remarkable and moving story. Roman chariots, centurions, lions, roses and executioners all take their place in the procession from St Peter's Church, through the City Centre to St Albans Cathedral.

Alban Street Festival - part of Alban Weekend

Sunday 24th June 2018 Showcasing our inspiring community, celebrate all that is fun, free and fabulous about St Albans at the Alban Street Festival. Food stalls, creative and sporting activities, live music, performance and more: and all of it is free!

St Albans Film Festival

Tuesday 26th June to Sunday 1st July 2018 The fifth international St Albans Film Festival will take place in 2018, with a short-film competition, film screenings, workshops, and other film-themed events taking place throughout the city. The theme this year is Speed. There will be open-air cinema in Abbey Orchard from Wednesday 27th June through to Sunday 1st July.

St Michaels Village Folk Evening

Wednesday 4th July 2018 Traffic will give way to music and dancing when St Michael's Street, St Albans will be closed from 8-10pm for St Michael's Street Folk evening. The overture by St Michael's bell ringers will start at 7.15pm. After dancing in the street and the school playground finished, music and singing will continue until closing time all over the village.

Childwickbury Arts Fair

Friday 6th July to Sunday 8th July 2018 A three day celebration of the arts held inside the beautiful private grounds of Childwickbury Estate, St Albans where you will find a vibrant mix of workshops, demonstrations and entertainment for all ages, a great day out for families. A unique way to engage with artists in a relaxed and informal setting as well as an opportunity to view and buy their work. Events and activities include painting, print making, jewellery, plus much much more!

Harpenden Highland Gathering

Sunday 8th July 2018 Harpenden Lions Highland Gathering is a great day out with a 'Scottish flavour' offering four pipe and drum bands, highland dancing competitions and displays as well as solo piping. Plus the traditional highland games heavy events including 'weight over the bar', 'tossing the caber' and 'putting the stone'.

Wheathampstead Village Weekend

Sunday 8th July 2018 Village Day happens in July every year, with a parade through the village followed by stalls and activities on the Marford Playing Field. The 2018 theme is Carnival.

Classics on the Common

Wednesday 25th July 2018 Once a year, Harpenden Common comes alive for half a day with 1200 classic cars and other four-wheelers, plus 250 cycles and scooters. You'll find a Chevy Bel Air rubbing shoulders with a 1927 Trojan, and a rare 1978 Mantra Bagheera with a '59 Berliet plus 10,000 admiring spectators. Little wonder Classics on the Common, already Britain's biggest mid-week classic car meeting, now ranks among the top events of the classics calendar.

Meraki Festival

Friday 10th August to Sunday 12th August 2018 Meraki returns to St Albans for a 2nd year. The festival will feature a line-up of top live music acts across 3 stages. We’re family-friendly, with lots to keep the little ones entertained, and we have a range of special features and creative spaces around the festival for everyone to enjoy. The activities at Meraki are all-inclusive – once you’re through the gates, you can enjoy all of our festival features for no extra cost!

Hertfordshire Open Studios

Saturday 8th September to Sunday 30th September 2018 Why not extend the summer holiday mood with a self-guided tour of some of Hertfordshire's finest artists, craftmakers and artisans? Artists are opening their doors for the biggest county-wide art event in Hertfordshire - Herts Open Studios. This annual autumn show, organised by Herts Visual Arts, runs for three weeks and entry to participating exhibitions is free.

Redbourn Classics Motor Show

Saturday 15th September 2018 Classic Vehicle Show plus Village Fête with family entertainment, BBQ, food stalls, charity stalls, and a raffle.

CAMRA St Albans Beer and Cider Festival

Wednesday 26th September to Saturday 29th September 2018 The premier event in the Hertfordshire drinkers calendar will be back in town at the end of September so book your beer and cider holiday now and pay us a visit to enjoy the vast selection of drinks on offer. The number of real ale on offer runs into the hundreds and is complimented by a vast selection of real ciders and perries, bottle conditioned beers and a large selection from around the world.

St Albans Food & Drink Festival 2018

Wednesday 26th September to Monday 8th October The St Albans Food & Drink Festival will return this autumn to showcase the fantastic range of food, drink and produce available throughout St Albans District. With so many excellent eateries providing fabulous food and delightful drinking holes, the festival is a great time to try something new or different.

Heritage Open Days

Thurs 6th to Sun 10th September and Thurs 13th to Sun 16th September 2018 Each September for one weekend, St Albans opens its doors to allow you to visit many of the museums and attractions free, and to explore buildings normally closed to the public. It is a once-a-year chance to discover our architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

St Albans Cathedral Fireworks Spectacular

Saturday 3rd November 2018 Come and enjoy a spectacular event full of fantastic fireworks, food and fun for the whole family! Taking place in Verulamium Park, this amazing public display was started over 25 years ago in order to reduce firework accidents at home. Over the years it has raised over £750,000 for local and national charities. This year’s nominated charities are Earthworks St Albans and Waverley Driving Group RDA as well as other charities supported by St Albans Cathedral.

St Albans Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market Launch

Sunday 18th or Sunday 25th November 2018* (date TBC) Entertainment throughout the city centre to mark the official start of the Christmas shopping season. There will be three switch-on events at 5pm: at the Taxi Rank Stage, by the Clock Tower, and at the Christmas Market in Vintry Garden.

St Albans Christmas Market

End November to mid-December 2018 - dates TBC German-style Christmas Market in St Albans selling high quality gifts and products. Browse beautiful handmade gifts while enjoying a mug of mulled wine in the Christmas atmosphere. The event will take place in and around the beautiful Vintry Garden adjacent to the magnificent 11th-century St Albans Cathedral.
Further information: visit our Christmas Market section and find out more about the products, entertainment, and how to be involved.

Harpenden Christmas Carnival

Sunday 25th November 2018* (provisional date) A spectacular event in Harpenden High Street, encompassing a carnival procession, charity stalls, a Farmers Market, turning on of the Town's Christmas lights, fairground rides and festive shopping.

Redbourn Christmas Market

Sunday 2nd December 2018 Experience the best of Redbourn at their annual winter festival. Visit the pretty historic village of Redbourn to celebrate authentic and quality local crafts, food and music. 70+ stalls overflowing with delicious food, beautiful crafts and gift ideas; seasonal music showcasing the best local talent; Yule raffle with lots of amazing prizes from local businesses, plus Santa Claus!

Carols on the Hour

Saturday 15th December 2018 Take a break from the last-minute Christmas shopping and enjoy this special St Albans Cathedral event. Each service lasts just 30 minutes, enough time to sing some uplifting carols with the Cathedral Choirs. Everyone is welcome to come and sing and experience the true meaning of Christmas at these hourly Carol Services from 11am to 4pm. No tickets required and admission is free.

St Albans Mummers

Wednesday 26th December 2018 (Boxing Day)

For over 40 years the St Albans Mummers have performed their unique adaptation of George & The Dragon on Boxing Day in various locations in the City Centre.