Chester Winter Watch Parades 8 and 15 December
29 November 2016Chester’s Winter Watch Parades return on Thursday 8 and 15 December starting from Chester Town Hall Square at 7pm.
The Winter Watch has its origins in the 1400’s tradition of ‘Setting the Watch’ a ceremony held at Christmas when Chester’s early police force ‘the City Watch’ were handed the keys of the city after processing around Chester to ensure it was secure. There then followed a banquet and celebration of Christmas by the city leaders.
Today’s version welcomes back the City Watch men who are joined by a cast of Angels, Devils, Fire Skeletons, Dragons and Cooks with their Victorian Christmas Dinner.
The fun parades led by Karamba Samba as the ‘ghost band’ take over the city streets with fire-breathers, sword fights and music.
The parade passes through the Christmas Market, past Chester Cathedral on St Werburgh Street, turns right into Eastgate Street, Bridge Street, then returns to the Cross and back to the Town Hall Square via Northgate Street.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “The Winter Watch is unique to Chester, sharing some characters from the Midsummer Watch parade and adding festive characters including Ice Queens and Jack Frost”.
“There are two opportunities to watch the parade as it returns on 15 December to present a double bill with Chester’s Roman Legion for their torch lit Saturnalia parade”.