Annual Christmas lights switch-on attracts thousands to Chester


Annual Christmas lights switch-on attracts thousands to Chester

Twelve Days of Christmas themed parade hailed a glowing success as CH1ChesterBID helps kick-starts the festive season


Chester was brimming with Christmas spirit as more than 15,000 people made their way into the city centre for the annual Christmas lights-switch on and parade.


This year’s event took place on Thursday 16th November and included a spectacular Twelve Days of Christmas themed parade that started from the Town Hall and made its way through the city centre streets.


This year’s extravaganza was organised by Chester’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID, with support from Cheshire West and Chester Council, and saw Santa and his elves spreading festive cheer through the streets of the city.


The parade included Chester’s popular Christmas elves ChELfie and ELFie who posed for selfies, a Santa’s sleigh and a range of community groups and local artists. Chester’s well-loved brass band lead the parade and performed a range of Christmas classics as lights were switched on throughout the city centre.


“The annual lights switch on and the Twelve Days of Christmas parade really brought the magic of Christmas to Chester city centre and it was fantastic to see so many people enjoying this year’s festivities,” said Carl Critchlow, BID Manager at CH1ChesterBID.


“We’ve been working tirelessly to ensure that this Christmas is better than ever and we’ve already had some wonderful feedback about the parade. The atmosphere was superb and the city’s streets were packed – we think the turnout was even better than last year when we had a record 15,000 people in the city centre.


“We’ve got an amazing programme of family-friendly activities that run right up Christmas Eve, so we hope everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy Christmas in the city centre with us over the next few weeks and celebrate the holiday season in style. There really is no place like Chester at this time of year.”


Storytelling with Santa is a unique addition to the celebrations in Chester this year. Taking place at Storyhouse between 18th November – 17th December, the festive experience gives children the chance to meet Santa and write their Christmas wish lists with the help of friendly elves.


ChELFie and ELFie will also be out and about in the city centre every weekend until Christmas. The duo will be encouraging young people to take part in a ChELFIE and ELFfie selfie competition, where they need to tweet their selfie to CH1ChesterBID’s twitter account @CH1Chester to be in with a chance of winning £250 in vouchers to spend at Chester city centre retailers within Chester’s Business Improvement District area.


Family favourite Christmas movies including a Frozen Sing Along and The Snowman are also being shown at the Grosvenor Museum.


For more information about all the events and activities taking place in Chester this Christmas, visit or follow @chELFie_CH1 on Twitter.




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