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Midsummer Parade – Chester

15th June 2024 @ 6:06am – by CWAC
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Chester Midsummer Watch Parade

Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June

starting from Town Hall square at 2pm.

The medieval parade is one of the oldest and most colourful street parades in the country, dating from 1498.

The Midsummer Watch characters are based on descriptions from the city archives including the famous family of giants.

The City Guilds and the Lord Mayor of Chester lead the parade, along with Chester's Karamba Samba Band, and of course:

  • dragons,
  • angels,
  • the Chester ravens,
  • unicorn,
  • stag,
  • hobby horses,
  • St Werburgh (and her geese),
  • green men,
  • Balaam's Ass,
  • Cernunnus the Celtic lord of the forest,
  • a devil Band.

The parade welcomes back a new pirate ship – following successful crowd funding earlier this year – and will be manned by the Chester Pirates, who will be pursued by the Royal Navy.

Originally performed by the City Guilds at Midsummer, it was disbanded in the 1670's before being revived in 1989, featuring the Chester family of giants. The Midsummer Watch 'Family of Giants' – the father, mother and two daughters are towering four metre figures.

Over 200 school children from across the borough have been creating characters for the parade in workshops. Hoole Primary School will be fish, Dee Point are a flock of ravens, Belgravewill be angels, Cherry Grove will be carrying suns, Guilden Suttonwill accompany St Werburgh as geese, Grosvenor Park will be Green Men and Waverton Primary Schooljoin the parade as fiery monsters.

The parade will leave Chester Town Hall Square at 2pm on both days taking in:

  • St Werburgh Street,
  • Eastgate Street,
  • and the Cross,
  • returning to the Town Hall square for a finale.

The Midsummer Watch website includes photographs and video from previous years plus a history of the parade – click here.


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