Christmas preparations

6 November 2020

The traditional Christmas lights and trees will be in place but without the celebratory switch-on or parades. The Chester Christmas Market will be going digital this year using live videos to spotlight businesses and provide the Christmassy experience.

Christmas plans are changing and adapting; the Destination Chester network: Marketing Cheshire, Chester BID, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Storyhouse, Taste Cheshire, Chester Cathedral, Chester Zoo, Chester Indoor Market and We Love Good Times have been working together to provide an exciting Christmas for all to enjoy. 

The new national four-week lockdown restrictions have prevented plans for the Town Hall Square Christmas Market but that hasn’t stopped the network who are now planning:
  • A virtual Christmas Market Facebook group
  • An online listing by town highlighting food outlets offering take-out or delivery
  • Christmas shopping webpage listing which retailers offer e-commerce/delivery 
  • An online Gift card round-up including the new Chester Gift Card being delivered by Chester BID.
  • Best gift experiences to buy in Chester and across Cheshire
  • Ideas of how to enjoy Cheshire in lock-down – including walking routes and home activities.
  • Celebrating the wide variety of gifts, food and essentials available from independent shops and markets.
The Storyhouse Christmas show is A Christmas Carol, the original start date has now been changed to 3 December. Storyhouse was the first major theatre in the region planning to stage a full-size Christmas show whilst most UK theatres are remaining closed until at least spring next year.  Chester Zoo also announced the return of their festive lanterns, whilst the Zoo closes its gates for November, anyone who has already booked for this month is being contacted and tickets rescheduled in December. 

Chester Cathedral will become a beacon of light and hope this Christmas, as its annual Christmas Tree Festival will now spread throughout the Cathedral with trees decorated by schools, charities and city businesses.  The festival will also include two magnificent art installations by sculptor Peter Walker.  The festival will be accompanied by traditional Christmas services, carol concerts, organ recitals and exciting food and drink experiences.

Ellesmere Port is kicking off the Christmas festivities with free lantern kits being made by children to display at home. Large lanterns will also be appearing in the town centre. Whilst other plans continue across the borough. Whilst Neston also has plans still under ‘Christmas’ wraps. 
There won’t be an Extravaganza in Northwich this year but there will still be Christmas spirit aplenty thanks to initiatives delivered by the Northwich Business Improvement District (BID), Northwich Town Council and Barons Quay.

Four sparkling trees will be dotted around the town and the festive lights will return, while people will be encouraged to shop local through marketing initiatives and a dedicated Visit Northwich Town Centre Online Facebook Group. There will be sleigh-fulls of goodwill too thanks to a ’12 Gifts of Christmas’ campaign run by the Northwich BID. Head to Visit Northwich Facebook for more.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “If ever there was a year needing Christmas cheer, goodwill to all men plus a sprinkle of fairy dust, all done two metres apart wearing a face covering. Our Christmas lights are waiting to be switched on and trees ready to be put up. We can turn this around, Christmas 2020 will certainly be different, but different can still be good.” 

Nicola Said, Commercial Director, Marketing Cheshire added: “Chester’s Christmas Market is traditionally a real milestone in our calendar, injecting festive cheer right into the heart of the city. Of course, this year is looking very different to what we’re used to, but we’re determined to keep our community spirit alive – we have a fantastic network of businesses which have shifted their offering online to make sure we can still sample their delicious food and drink and pick up special gifts for our loved ones this Christmas. 

“We also want to make sure that local families have plenty of ideas to keep busy and stay entertained during the latest lockdown. We want to encourage Cheshire residents to use the lockdown to get organised for Christmas and keep Christmas local, by buying gifts from local businesses. And as soon as the lockdown is over, we want to welcome everyone back to enjoy Christmas in our city”
 
Subject to change depending on any extended lock down or tier requirements.

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