The people of Llanwrtyd Wells will be turning Roman this weekend as they celebrate Saturnalia with some special events.
Saturnalia was the major annual festival of the Romans, held during the wintertime. The festival, held in honour of the deity Saturn, was known for its unrestrained merry-making, including banqueting, gambling, frolics and fun.
Every year, Llanwrtyd Wells holds the World MTB Chariot Racing Championships, along with the Saturnalia Winter Warmer Real Ale Festival. Special chariots have been built for the event, using traditional Roman mild steel, vulcanised rubber and welding techniques. These chariots are designed to be pulled by two mountain bikes alongside each other.
For the championships, teams must race against each other and the clock to determine the winner. Teams will have to demonstrate exceptional skill and courage, and will need to coordinate and cooperate fully as a single unit to beat the other challengers.
The course itself is a half mile long circuit based in the grounds of Abernant Lake Hotel, near to Llanwrtyd railway station, and ‘Romans’ must negotiate tarmac road, speed bumps, and rough muddy track.
Chariots race against each other in pairs, with the fastest four teams taking part in the two-lap grand final to determine the overall World Champions. This year’s winners will receive a world cup and medals. There will also be medals and cups for the second and third placed teams, as well as prizes for the best Roman costumes.
Those wishing to make the most of the Saturnalia celebrations can also enjoy some real ales at the Saturnalia Winter Warmer Real Ale Festival taking place around the town.
When: 11th January 2020
Where: Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales
£: Free to watch (£25 per team to enter)
More info: www.green-events.co.uk