Colchester city status celebration events

PUBLISHED: 31 January 2023

Date issued: 31 January 2023

A series of celebratory events are planned to mark the first year of Colchester being named a modern city, as everyone comes together for The Year of Celebration.

Throughout 2023 there will be a programme of fantastic events taking place across the city centre and surrounding towns and villages, enabling residents, visitors and businesses to come together to celebrate becoming a city once more.

From a blockbuster exhibition, Gladiators; A Day at the Roman Games at Colchester Castle, to Big Women at Firstsite, to the commemoration of The Siege of Colchester spectacular, an epic re-enactment of the Siege of Colchester in the summer of 2023, to incredible art, performance and live music, great outdoor events and seasonal celebrations, there is something for everyone to enjoy all year long.

Discover the full programme of events taking place on the Visit Colchester website, please note events are being added throughout the year so please check back regularly:

Visitors can discover more about this special year through the new 2023 Visit Colchester, Visitor Guide, which is out now.  Packed with must-see tourist attractions, where to eat, arts venues and how best to enjoy the city. You’ll also find a special pull-out guide dedicated to the Year of Celebration.

David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, said: “We’re working with organisations across the city to create a programme of events so everyone can celebrate Colchester’s first year as a modern city.

“Although we’re in tough financial times, many of the events taking place are free to attend, like the Siege Spectacular. They will provide chance for us all to enjoy what Colchester can offer. There’s still more to do and partners will be meeting throughout the year to continue to grow the events and activities programme. With a marketing toolkit to make it easy for organisations and event organisers to join others in commemorating our rich past, and in celebrating the best we can now offer.”

Cllr Pam Cox, Colchester City Council Portfolio holder for Culture and Heritage, said: “As Britain’s First City and now one of its newest cities, we are incredibly proud of Colchester. We want to unite our communities, businesses and visitors, to come together and celebrate this momentous year. 
“We have world class exhibitions in our museums and galleries planned, as well as incredible art, performance and live music. I’m sure we can make this a year to remember!”

Sam Good, Manager of Our Colchester BID says "It's great to see Colchester coming together to celebrate the new city status. The BID is in the process of organising some great events to align with the Year of Celebration including the return of the Colchester Garden Festival and other free events this summer. Colchester is a great place to be celebrated and the extensive events calendar this year is testament to what a vibrant and cultural city this is."

Head to and discover more along with a marketing toolkit.

Page last reviewed: 31 January 2023


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