A BIG welcome was given to guests at the launch of this year’s Chester the Giant City festival.

The 14ft family of giants heralded the start of preparations for the 20th anniversary of the birth of the current giant family.

On Wednesday, January 28, Lord Mayor Brian Bailey opened a wine and canapés evening at Mansion House, Abbey Square, Chester.

David Pickering, chairman of the festival, said: “There is a need for cost effective initiatives to enhance the Chester Experience. Chester The Giant City creates a link to our past, present and future with a vibrant city full of parades, festivals, giant statues, events and merchandise.”

Kristine Szulik, of Chester The Giant City Community Interest Company, is inviting groups to build a giant to bring along to the Giant Parade on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21.

Lord Mayor Brian Bailey also launched the Giant Photographic Competition & Exhibition. The digital competition has a theme of “Reflections of a Community”. Entries are invited up to April 20.