Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade

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Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade

June 22 - June 23

The Midsummer Watch Parade

The Midsummer Watch Parade returns to Chester on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June starting from Town Hall square at 2pm. The medieval parade is one of the country’s oldest and most colourful street parades dating from 1498.

The Midsummer Watch characters are based on descriptions from the city archives including the famous family of giants.

The parade is led by the City Guilds and the Lord Mayor of Chester plus Chester’s Karamba Samba Band, with dragons, angels, the Chester ravens, unicorn, stag, hobby horses, St Werburgh (and her geese), green men, Balaam’s Ass, Cernunnus the Celtic lord of the forest, and a devil Band.

Later additions to the parade include an antelope in 2019 discovered following research in the archives from 1660 as being part of the parade joining The Hippogriff from Greek Mythology.

Following successful crowd funding earlier this year, the parade will welcome back a new pirate ship manned by the Chester Pirates who will be pursued by the Royal Navy.

The Summer Watch was originally performed by the City Guilds at Midsummer. It was disbanded in the 1670’s before being revived in1989, featuring the Chester family of giants. The Midsummer Watch ‘Family of Giants’ the father, mother and two daughters are towering four metre figures.

Over 200 school children from across the borough have been creating characters for the parade in workshops. Hoole Primary School will be fish, Dee Point are a flock of ravens, Belgrave will be angels, Cherry Grove will be carrying suns, Guilden Sutton will accompany St Werburgh as geese, Grosvenor Park will be Green Men and Waverton primary school join the parade as fiery monsters.

The parade will leave Chester Town Hall Square at 2pm on both days taking in; St Werburgh Street, Eastgate Street, and the Cross, returning to the Town Hall square for a finale.

The Midsummer Watch website: includes photographs and video from previous years plus a history of the parade.

The Midsummer Watch Parade

The Midsummer Watch Parade


June 22
June 23