AS FAMILIES look for fun in the sun this summer, they need look no further than the streets of Chester.
Throughout the summer months, the city will come alive with a whole host of exciting events to keep families busy and entertained. Š
Starting in the second weekend of June with the Roman Festival (June 12-13), the festival of Chestival, sponsored by Bank of America, will continue until July 14, which means four weekends jam packed with events and no better reason to stay at home in Chester for the summer.
And with most events being free, there’s no excuse for all the family not to join in.
Chestival kicks off with the Roman Weekend, which will see the city fall under the shadows of the Roman Legions once again.
Spread over two days and starting on Saturday, June 12, Chester will be taken back 19 centuries to AD110 and the height of the Roman age.
The unique event, Roman Weekend, will give visitors and residents the chance to see, hear and feel the excitement and anticipation of how Chester was in Roman times.
Chestival’s second weekend aims to have just as large an impact with the Giant Midsummer Watch Parade and BiG Giant’s that will walk through the streets of Chester.
More than 70,000 residents and visitors are expected to arrive in the city to see the supersize spectacle as well as 70 giants from around the UK and Europe.
After two weekends of fun and excitement, it will be time to get exercising and with Cycle Sunday in the city centre, it will be the perfect opportunity to ride of all those ice creams. Cycle Sunday will be on Sunday, June 27, and will celebrate all things cycling in Chester.
From amazing BMX half pipe displays in the Amphitheatre to mountain bike tricks outside the Town Hall, families will be encouraged to cycle into Chester on their bikes and take part.
On the third weekend, the streets of Chester will come alive to the sounds of the BIG SING choirs as they sing favourite songs through the streets on Saturday, July 3.
Families will have the opportunity to join in the fun by taking part in a singing concert at Chester Cathedral. Tickets priced at £1.
Also included in the third weekend will be the Charles Stanley British Masters International Showjumping at Chester Racecourse.
About 1,000 horses are expected to jump over the three days in July on the Roodee.
The spectacular event will feature all levels of showjumping, a shopping village, a local food and drink experience and a showcase of the fabulous city of Chester.
Tickets are priced at £5 for Friday and Saturday and £10 Sunday.
Hospitality packages are available. Visit www.chester-races.com for further details.
Chestival’s final weekend will give festival goers the last opportunity to see the performances at the Town Hall on the ‘Centre Stage’.
The stage will allow members of the community to perform for 15 minutes, showcasing their talents in whatever it may be from singing and dancing to magicians and comedians.
The final weekend also marks the first weekend of Rhino Mania. For 10 weeks during the summer of 2010, the city will be taken over by a herd of up to 70 rhinos, each 5ft high and individually designed by local artists.
Businesses, community groups, education establishments and individuals are invited to sponsor a rhino sculpture which will be decorated by them or their chosen artist.
During the event, Rhino Mania will provide a trail through the city, from the river through to the city business park and out to the zoo, through Chester’s neighbourhoods, encouraging thousands of people to follow the colourful stampede.
Festival director Tracy Lynn said: “Chestival is the perfect excuse to cancel those travelling plans and become a tourist in your own city.
“With so much packed into the festival calendar this summer in Chester, you’ll be looking for an excuse not to leave the city this summer.
“Just remember the ‘Three F’s’ – Free, Family, Friendly.
“With something a little more sophisticated for adults in the evening, there are exciting adventures for all tastes and ages.”
Organisers are encouraging families to invite friends and family from out of the city to visit them this summer in Chester as the city turns into its very own entertainment capital for 34 days and 34 nights.
For further information and events listings visit www.chestival2010.co.uk.