Two eras from Chester’s historical past came face to face in the city last night (Thursday, December 17) as the Romans met the medieval Winter Watch parade.
The Roman Saturnalia and the parade were taking place on the same night after the Winter Watch was rescheduled to allow a visit by the famous Coca Cola truck on December 3.
Following a social media backlash about the commercial venture usurping a community parade, there was mixed reaction to how the two events sat side by side.
Syvia Selzer tweeted: “Fab Chester Mid-Winter Watch and Saturnalia parade tonight. Karamba Samba leading exciting spectacle directed by Russell Kirk.”
Emily R Pimm on the other hand tweeted: “It’s not that the winter watch parade isn’t good - just not convinced the two together work well. #bloodycocacolatruck.
She added: “They’re two very unique & different events. The Romans are fairly authentic/more historically accurate so the rest of the parade connects to a different time in history. Also the samba band was drowning out what they were saying.”
The Saturnalia, organised by the Deva Victrix 20th legion of Roman Tours Ltd, is a pagan Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn.
The Winter Watch parade harks back to medieval times when city leaders marched through the city to ensure it was secure before handing over the keys of Chester to the City Watch - the early police force.
Both events were followed by banquets and celebration.