We may be halfway through the 2023 is a Year of Celebration, but a huge programme of events is planned for the summer, as Colchester continues to celebrate its new modern city status with a programme of events, activities and milestones.

There is a programme of fantastic events taking place across the city centre and surrounding towns and villages. From world class exhibitions at museums and galleries to incredible art, performance and live music events all celebrating this historic year in Colchester’s history.

The events coming up in July and August are:


  • Now, until 31 December 2023: Online Exhibition: City Celebration
    To celebrate Colchester’s city status, historic charters dating back to the reign of King Edward III in 1364 are online to view.
  • Now, until 30 September 2023: Track Markers: Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Essex Wildlife Trust, Fingringhoe
  • Now, until 1 December 2023: Under Siege exhibition at Colchester Castle
  • 8 July: Festival of Fun at Colchester Sports Park
  • 8 July: Rowhedge Regatta
  • 9 July: Festival of Fun at Colchester Leisure World
  • 15 July 2023 to 14 January 2024: Gladiators, A Day at the Roman Games exhibition at Colchester Castle
  • 16 July: Community Charities Festival: Bandstand Concert in Castle Park
  • 16 July: Layer Marney Tower: 500 year Celebration – Tudor Fair
  • 17 July to 13 August: The Colchester Garden Festival, Colchester city centre
  • 22 July: Colchester Through Time Tour: Georgian and Victorian Colchester in Colchester city centre
  • 28 July to 26 August: Unbelievable at the Mercury Theatre
  • 29 July: Colchester Through Time Tour: The 1901 and 1911 censuses in Colchester city centre
  • 29 – 30 July: Colchester Roman Festival in Castle Park



  • 10-13 August: Summer Social in Castle Park
  • 12 August: Colchester Through Time Tour: Discover Dedham
  • 12 August: Colchester Pride at Firstsite
  • 19-20 August: Colchester Siege Spectacular across Colchester city centre
  • 19 August: Colchester Through Time Tour: A Wivenhoe Wander
  • 19 August: West Mersea Town Regatta
  • 26 August: Colchester Through Time Tour: Neighbourly New Town
  • 27 August: Olly Murs – Marry Me Tour 2023 – Colchester Castle Park


Join the extra-special programme of celebratory events marking this historic year for Colchester: www.visitcolchester.com/yearofcelebration and keep checking back as more will be added throughout the year.


Cllr Michelle Burrows, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Heritage, said: “These events are not only a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our first year as a modern city, but more importantly a chance to come together with family and friends to and be proud of our great city and the diverse range of events on offer.

“We may be halfway through the programme, but there is a huge amount still to take part in. We have world class exhibitions in our museums and galleries planned, as well as incredible art, performance and live music.

“One ‘save the date’ for your diary is the much-loved Fringe Festival in October. A true showcase for the outstanding talent of local performers and artists as well as an opportunity to host well known performers and performances from well-known companies, thus creating a fantastic three-day event for people far and wide to travel to and enjoy our city. I’m sure we can make this a year to remember!”


If you are an event organiser, business, organisation or charity, you can get involved in the Year of Celebration, find out more on the City Council’s webpage: https://colchester.gov.uk/city-status