PRESS RELEASE NORTHGATE QUARTER FESTIVALS – 28TH JULY VILLAGE GREEN & LORD MAYOR’S PAGEANT The final Northgate Quarter Festival Sunday of July take place this week with a Village Green theme; and incorporating The Lord Mayor’s Pageant
This rather exceptional British summer creates the perfect climate for a Maypole, which will be erected in The Quarter for all ages to take part or just sit back and watch. Maypoles were originally used on May 1st to welcome the summer, but the Art of Maypole Dancing has largely been forgotten. Caller Mo Waddington and a team of Ceilidh and folk bands will provide the accompaniment for members of the public to have a go at weaving the streamers around the pole. Designed to be fun the dancing lessons are for everyone with separate sessions throughout the afternoon for adults and children. Between Maypole sessions Country Dancing and a Folk Music Jam for all musicians add to the summer pageantry
There is also as always plenty of music to be heard on these Festival Sundays with an unplugged session - a long time traditional Sunday Favourite in the Quarter - on The Rufus Court Stage between 1pm and the evening, with Alexander’s favourites Root chords playing a set between 2pm-5pm. As with all events, there will be a street market selling various goodies such as cakes, jewellery and artwork. There is the dedicated Art Zone for every one of all ages to get involved with community artwork and there will be plenty of al fresco food and drink outlets along the street to enjoy an ice cold drink in the sunshine.
Interlinked with the rural festivities, the Lord Mayor's Pageant brings a touch of circus, sideshow and surrealism as The Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Jill Houlbrook has commissioned local promoter, Neil Kendall to bring back the ancient Lord Mayor’s Pageant as part of this summer’s Northgate Quarter festivals.
The pageant, which used to be held every year until the late 1970s, will return on July 28 – coinciding with the last weekend of festivals throughout July.
Neil Kendall is well known in Chester for organising burlesque nights and recently returned from Las Vegas where he put on a show with international star and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese Based on the theme of a travelling carnival, the pageant will feature a variety of entertainers and sideshow acts who will perform along Northgate Street from the Town Hall Square to the City Walls. An Egyptian-themed stage which will house fire-eaters, belly dancers and acrobats will act as the Lord Mayor’s Temple and promises to be the main attraction on the day.
Neil said “It is going to be a very quirky, unique look at our city and will draw from Chester’s rich cultural heritage. In Chester we have this great history of providing entertainment and amazing street shows and I have to say, because I work all over the world producing shows, Chester is a unique place because of the Rows.” “It is an absolute pleasure to be commissioned to do this, especially as it is my home city. It is a great opportunity to offer something special to the people of Chester” The street festival will be entirely free and the Lady Mayoress of Chester, Rachel Walker, thinks it is the perfect way to bring the Northgate Street festivals to a close. She said: “I think it is really important for the Lord Mayor to celebrate all Chester has to offer but it is also about the people of Chester so we are hoping to showcase local talent. “We are featuring fire-eaters, jugglers, magic and a wandering minstrel – who is from the Minstrel’s Court, which used to meet in Chester along with a sword swallower, acrobats and the Human Volcano! “My particular love is for old fashioned sideshow acts so we will be offering the public a chance to meet The Chester Mermaid – dredged from the depths of the Dee, Crustacea the living Lobster Lady and Serpentina the Snake Girl” All the incredible props and costumes have been locally by Chester artists Russell Kirk and Lillian Chapman.