A PROGRAMME of festive activities launches in Chester city centre with their highly-anticipated Christmas parade.

Organised by Chester’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID, the annual Christmas parade will take place on Thursday, November 21, in line with the launch of the city centre’s late-night shopping schedule.

The popular ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ themed parade will make its way through the city centre from 7pm, with spectators challenged to ‘spot Santa’ on the rooftops.

He’ll magically appear at four locations, including Cathedral Garden, St Peters Church, the Eastgate Clock and Chester’s Town Hall.

Starting from Chester Town Hall, chELFie, ELFie and their elf friends will lead the parade, spreading real snow over spectators as they weave their way through the city centre.

To add to the atmosphere, a live brass band will lead the festive procession, performing popular Christmas carols and songs, bringing to life the streets of Chester.

From Chester Town Hall, the parade heads towards St Werburgh Street passing Chester Cathedral, down to Eastgate Street, Bridge Street and around the city centre.

Pyrotechnics will also be set off during the parade at Chester Cathedral, Eastgate Clock and The Cross.

There will be a firework display at the Amphitheatre and one final show of pyrotechnics at Town Hall.

Knutsford Guardian: The 12 Days of Christmas paradeThe 12 Days of Christmas parade

Emily Ghazarian, Events Manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “The annual Christmas parade is definitely the highlight of our events calendar, and we can’t wait to welcome families to the city.

“The parade is a great way to kick-start the festive period in style. The spectacle is designed with everyone in mind – with Christmas characters, lights and decorations aplenty.

“On behalf of all our businesses, we always want Christmas in Chester to be special. We spend months in the lead up to November working with local partners to bring the theme to life and make sure our activities drive as many people as possible into the city centre.

“Our aim is to create unforgettable experiences and memories over the festive period. Activities such as Christmas film screenings and Storytelling with Santa sessions bring joy to so many families across the North West and embody what Christmas is all about.

“New for this year, we have created a ‘Christmas in Chester Passport’ that our elves will be handing out during the parade. This is fun way to encourage families to take part in the full Gingerbread Christmas programme with eight different locations for kids to get their passports stamped.

“The Christmas market is also back in the heart of the city centre at the Town Hall Square offering unique, locally made produce and handmade crafts, jewellery and accessories. The 70 traditional wooden chalets surround the city’s impressive sparkling tree, with the CheSTAR also back to decorate the city in style.”

Chester’s Christmas Market, organised by Marketing Cheshire, will also be in the city from November 16 – December 22, with more than 70 traditional wooden chalets situated in the city centre selling quality local and regional products.

For more information about all the events and activities taking place this Christmas, visit experiencechester.co.uk or search ‘CH1ChesterBID’ on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.