The City Watch are patrolling the Chester City Centre with the return of the Winter Watch Parade on Thursday 8 December at 7pm with a second parade on Thursday 15 December.
The origins of the parade can be traced back to the 1400’s when archive records show the early police force Chester’s City Watch looking after the keys of the city at Christmas. They marched around Chester to make sure it was secure; this was followed by a banquet and celebration of Christmas by the city leaders.
The version seen today shares some of the characters from the Midsummer Watch Parade that also dates from the 1400’s. Both the Midsummer Watch and the Winter Watch parades are unique to Chester.
The Winter Watch parade features Jack Frost, an Angel, Fire Skeletons, Dragon, Ice Queens, Devils, Cooks with their Victorian Christmas Dinner led by Chester’s Karamba Samba dressed as a ghost band.
This Christmas there are more activities and a brand-new public space with the opening of the new Market and Exchange Square that is hosting a Makers Market each weekend. The Christmas Bazaar taking place around the Rows is a new attraction on Thursdays and at weekends.
The Winter Watch starts from the Christmas Market in Town Hall Square that will remain open until 8pm.
Park and Ride buses have extended times during the late-night shopping Thursdays with the last buses leaving around 9pm rather than 7pm. Using Park and Ride helps reduce traffic and congestion in the city centre.
For details about Christmas events in Chester visit: https://www.visitcheshire.com/chester/christmas/christmas-in-chester