Chester’s Christmas Elves have been brought in to help a little earlier than usual. ChELFie has been helping prepare the city centre with the first task testing the 80,845 Christmas LED lights.
There are 370m of lights to be installed, with Elf and Safety in mind the Elves were rigged with safety harnesses to oversee the first set of lights being put up last night.
The LED lights have a five year use before replacement, since swapping to LED in 2011 the energy costs have been reduced by over 60 percent compared to the old incandescent lights.
Every year there are questions about why the lights are up in October, the elves have had a look behind the scenes to see how much work is involved as the teams work through the night to make sure there is as little disruption as possible.
The plans have been changed slightly this year due to other events in the city centre. The time table will be:
- 14 October – Christmas lights installation starts
- 12 November – Christmas Market build starts and delivery of Christmas tree. There will be road closures from 6am as the tree arrives, the roads will be re-open at 7am to allow for deliveries, then closed again at 10.30am.
- 14 November – The main Christmas lights including the Ches-STAR will be turned on in time for the Christmas Market.
- Saturday 16 November – The Christmas Market opens.
- Thursday 21 November – 12 days of Christmas Parade – spot Santa, fireworks at the Amphitheatre. Late-Night Shopping and extended Park and Ride
- Thursday 28 November – Lantern Parade Late-Night Shopping and extended Park and Ride
- Sunday 1 – Santa dash
- Thursday 5 December – Winter Watch Parade Late-Night Shopping and extended Park and Ride
- Thursday 12 December – Winter Watch and Saturnalia Parades Late-Night Shopping and extended Park and Ride
- Monday 16 December – extended Park and Ride
- Tuesday 17 December – extended Park and Ride
- Wednesday 18 December – extended Park and Ride
- Thursday 19 December – Late-Night Shopping and extended Park and Ride
- Friday 20 December – extended Park and Ride
- Sunday 22 December – Last Day of Christmas Market
- Monday 23 December – Christmas Market comes down
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council said: “There is a lot of work behind the scenes every year to prepare for Christmas. By working with the CH1ChesterBID, Marketing Cheshire, local businesses and a small army of volunteers the city is transformed. I’d like to thank all those people and extend a warm welcome to the many thousands of people who will be visiting Chester over the next few months.
“Across the borough our teams put up four 30 to 35ft Christmas trees decorated with approximately 11,000 LED lights plus a further 50,000 LED lights in other trees.”
Note: In previous years the Christmas lights have been switched on during the parade, due to the later start of building the Christmas Market they will now be illuminated from the start of the Market