Dreadful weather did not dampen spirits as a huge crowd gathered for the annual Christmas lights switch on in the Garden Quarter.
Heralded by the children of Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School singing Christmas songs as they walked from the school Christmas Fayre, the event took place on a pop up stage on Garden Lane where crowds waited under umbrellas.
Entertainment was provided by the children, the University of Chester belly dancing and drama societies, singers and guitarists Charlie and Reece, soloist Chaira Lisowski and the Chester choir A Handbag of Harmonies.
A special moment during proceedings was when Councillor Bob Rudd officially named the new Jane’s Walk, the passageway between Bouverie Street and Plum Terrace, after singer and community champion Jane Wolf.
The audience then listened to the late Jane’s rendition of Santa Claus is Coming To Town from last year’s event.
The lights were switched on by a representative of all the performers squeezing a giant squid’s tentacle, in apparently time honoured tradition, and the illuminated Christmas trees, suspended above the shops and pubs in Garden Lane, came on to music and fireworks.
Dee 106.3’s Chester the Cat was also in attendance and the fun continued at the Bouverie pub with A Handbag of Harmonies and Safehouse.
Event organiser Matt Baker said “The weather could not have been more horrific! So to see such huge numbers defy the weather and turn up is testament to the real community spirit here. It was also wonderful to have so many students involved, both in singing and belly dancing. The Bouverie was packed afterwards too which was great.”
Matt added: “There is plenty more happening in the neighbourhood, and the next event is our annual Garden Quarter Christmas Market which is a a splendid affair on Saturday, December 12 at St Thomas of Canterbury Church.
The Christmas lights are funded by support from local traders, fundraising events and from Cllr Bob Rudd through his members' budget.