The Christmas CheSTAR- Christmas preview

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Christmas in Chester looks to be as magical as ever with the usual array of parades and family activities. In a new addition to the city’s Christmas offering, a 25ft high sparkling will be lighting up the city centre. The CH1 Chester BID;s giant decoration know as the “CheSTAR” feaures almost 19,ooo twinkling lights and has been handcrafted especially for the city (cost unknown).  The BID have revealed that the star will be installed in the grounds of the Cathedral on St Werburgh street within the next two weeks.

Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, Canon Peter Howell-Jones, added: “We are delighted to host the CheSTAR in the cathedral gardens this Christmas. We think families – especially children – will love it! 

“It’s the perfect accompaniment to our annual Christmas Tree Festival, which will also feature lots of stars. Back for a fourth year, the festival is bigger and better than ever before and will be raising money for the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.”

artists impression of the 25ft star

It will be lit up for the very first time as part of Chester’s annual Christmas lights switch-on event, which takes place this year on Thursday November 17.

Building on the success of last years event, the Christmas Light Switch parade starts at 7pm and will be themed once again around the Twelve Days of Christmas. We can only hope that after the sure to be fantastic parade, the lights actually turn on, following last years delay due to technical hitches. The BID are promising pyrotechnics and some Santa spotting.  The Christmas market will open the day after running from 18th November – Sunday 18th December.

Last years Christmas parade


Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “The CheSTAR is a stunning Christmas decoration that we think city visitors and local residents will absolutely love. It’s an eye-catching addition to our Christmas activities this year and we’re really excited to see it lit up in just a few weeks time as part of the Christmas parade.

In other activities , every weekend from 19th November the popular Chelfie and Elfie characters will be doing meet and greets with their “merry group of elves” walking the streets and also appearing in stores. As last year the elves will be giving out special
holographic glasses that miraculously transform ordinary Christmas lights into “magical images of elves, stars, Santa or even a surprise!”


 Chester’s Christmas Voices Music Festival takes place on the 24 Nov and 1st Dec:

These exciting 2-hour festivals of festive singing will include a series of pop-up performances across the city centre by choirs of all generations.
The event will culminate with a mass sing-a-long on Eastgate Street, featuring the Chester Heritage Bus and a specially created Christmas Music Medley lead by Matt Baker from Theatre in the Quarter.

Thursday 24th November, 6-8pm 6.00pm – Unique opening of the gates ceremony under the Eastgate Clock 6.15-7.25pm Choir performances ongoing at 5 locations: Chester Cathedral Gardens, The Cross, Northgate St Row South, Bridge Street and Eastgate Street. 7.30-8.00pm Christmas medley and Singalong on Eastgate Street featuring the Heritage Bus and light projections.

Matt Baker


Thursday 1st December, 4-6pm 4.00-5.15pm Choir performances ongoing across 5 locations: Chester Cathedral Gardens, The Cross, Northgate St Row South, Bridge Street and Eastgate Street. 5.20-6.00pm Christmas medley and Singalong on Eastgate Street featuring the Heritage Bus and light project Saturday 3rd to Saturday 31st December

Santa’s Workshop, 50 Northgate Street (opposite Christmas Market)
With the help of Santa’s friendly elves, children are invited to write their Christmas wish list, join in with festive crafts and colouring activities, and even meet Santa himself who will be making special  appearances! This event will be free but with donations accepted for Claire House Children’s Hospice

Christmas parades :

Lantern Parade.

Thursday 1st December – 7pm. Forum Shopping Centre.

Chester city centre will be lit by hundreds of children as they parade through the streets carrying handmade lanterns for the annual Lantern Parade. The parade will leave from the Forum Shopping Centre, walking past the Cathedral along St Werburgh Street, turning into Eastgate Street, down Bridge Street, back up Northgate Street and ending at the Christmas Market in the Town Hall Square.

Winter Watch Parade

Thursday 8th December – 7pm. Forum Shopping Centre.

Karamba Samba as the Winter Watch parades through Chester City Centre, lead by the Lord of Misrule! The parade will start at the Forum Shopping Centre and will continue around the city, including: St Werburgh Street, Northgate Street and Bridge Street. There will be dancers, fire breathing and sword fights along the way.

Winter Watch and Saturnalia Parade

Thursday 15th December – 7pm. Eastgate Street.

At 7pm from Eastgate Street you will be able to experience the special evening that merges two fantastic parades. The Saturnalia parade sees the Roman legion light up the streets with a torch-lit parade and the Winter Watch is a historic event when the city leaders would hand over the keys to the city watch.

For more information about CH1ChesterBID’s Christmas activities, visit 



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