Chester's famous medieval Midsummer Watch Parade returned on Saturday and Sunday (June 21-22) featuring the family of Chester giants.

The Midsummer Watch Parade is one of the country’s oldest and most colourful street parades.

The Summer Watch was originally staged by the City Guilds at Midsummer with the first recorded parade in 1498; it was disbanded in the 1670s until its revival in 1989.

Schools across the borough came together following a series of workshops run by Chester artist Russell Kirk to make new characters for the parades.


Belgrave and Hoole Primary were the Angels and Mill View Primary were the fiery monsters.

Charles Darwin Primary and the Cathedral Sunday School joined St Werburgh as geese.

Upton Heath were fish, while Pine Lodge became green men. Newton Primary joined the elephant and castle while Cherry Grove carried suns.

Also taking part in the parade were Minerva Arts as ravens, the Cheshire Young Carers Network as dragons, CO2 dance group as suns plus performers from across the borough.

The Lord Mayor of Chester Bob Rudd also joined the parade on Saturday, June 21.

Cllr Rudd said: “The Midsummer Watch parade is a unique and special event in Chester. I would like to thank the many people who take part and also welcome the thousands of spectators who will visit the city during the weekend of the parade.”

Russell Kirk added: “This is pageantry which is unique to Chester; a very special event which helps to make our city the place that it is. Community, culture, art and heritage working together – this is Chester at its best.”

Two new structures joined the cast of characters this year; Balaam's Ass – an Old Testament character which was part of the event in the late 1600s and a major new build Cernunnus, Celtic Lord of the Forest or Stag Lord which was specially commissioned by Chester Festival of Trees.

The parades will left Chester Town Hall Square at 2pm on both days continuing to St Werburgh Street, Eastgate Street, Bridge Street, Pepper Street, St John Street, Eastgate Street, returning to the town hall for a finale via Northgate Street.