Hundreds flocked to Garden Lane for the popular Christmas lights switch on event in the city suburb last Friday night.

The event began with Matt Baker, co-chairman of the residents and traders association, leading children, parents and teachers from Chester Blue Coat Primary School to Garden Lane to a chorus of Christmas songs following a successful Evening With Father Christmas at the school.

The outdoor stage was beautifully decorated by the team from Mustique and the acts who entertained the crowds included The Cambrian Queens, jazz singer Jane Wolfe and the women’s choir A Handbag of Harmonies.

 

The switch on was preceded by a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night by local duo Georgina Locke and Chiara Lisowski. The lights were switched on in an unusual way, with the cast of Theatre in the Quarter’s production of Alice squeezing an enormous squid’s tentacle.

Matt said: “We had to change the date of the switch on at the last minute this year as we rely on fresh Christmas trees and they weren’t ready.

“We were very sad that this meant Lord Mayor of Chester Bob Rudd couldn’t do the honour of switching on the lights for us, especially as he is our local councillor and so very supportive of all we do in this neighbourhood. However, it was a real treat for the whole cast of Alice to turn up after rehearsals and do the honour in his place.”

Actor Ben Tolley who plays The Mad Hatter in this year’s production said: “I have been acting in Chester for three Christmases now and I always love the Garden Quarter events, so it was a thrill to actually switch on the lights with the rest of the company. The crowd were amazing, and the lights look lovely on Garden Lane.”

The festivities continued at The Bouverie pub with entertainment from A Handbag of Harmonies and Safehouse.

The Christmas season continues in the Garden Quarter with the annual Christmas Market hosted by St Thomas of Canterbury Church on Saturday (December 6) from 10am-4pm and then a programme of candlelit carol services and Nativity events in various churches. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/gardenquarter