Activities – including a Big Christmas Giveaway, Storytelling with Santa and Twelve Days of Christmas Parade – drove thousands of people into Chester city centre during the six weeks prior to Christmas.
The city is celebrating after a successful end to 2018, spearheaded by Chester’s business improvement district CH1ChesterBID.
The special festive events and family-themed activities were enjoyed by Cestrians and retailers alike throughout Chester this year.
Sprinkling festive cheer throughout the city centre, CH1ChesterBID’s very own elves, ChELFie and ELFie, could be found every weekend in December providing joyful moments for city centre shoppers.
Children and shoppers alike delighted as Christmas lights transformed into magical shapes including Santa, snowmen, gift boxes, stars, or trees.
Children were also encouraged to embark on magical journeys through the North Pole, New York and Arandale (via screenings of Frozen sing-along, Elf and Polar Express films at the Grosvenor Museum).
A number of youngsters also got to experience the magic of Christmas first-hand, getting up close to Father Christmas at the enchanting Storytelling with Santa at Storyhouse.
For adults, the festive calendar included the much-loved Christmas lights switch on and parade which started the festivities in style, attracting around 15,000 people.
The return of the giant sparkling ‘CheSTAR’ was also a highlight for many.
The ‘Big Christmas Giveaway’ competition was also an incredible success for the city and saw a selection of Chester’s favourite businesses giving away more than £5,000 worth of prizes to 21 lucky winners.
Judy Tagell, marketing manager at CH1ChesterBID, commented: “People of all ages reveled in the spirit of Christmas this year, making special trips into the city centre to enjoy the events and activities that were taking place.
“There was something for everyone and walking through the city centre, it was wonderful to see so many smiling faces and full shopping bags.”
Judy added: “As a Business Improvement District, it’s important that we support our retailers throughout the city centre and drive as much footfall as possible for them.
“From the feedback we’ve so far received, it looks like 2018 was a great year for Christmas sales.
“We, alongside our key partners and businesses, were determined to bring the city to life for Cestrians and visitors and give them an experience that couldn’t be rivalled by other destinations or online shopping.
“We seem to have succeeded and are now looking forward to next year with lots more events and activities in the pipeline to get 2019 off to a great start.”