Thousands turn up for St George's Day parade in Chester

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Chester First)

ABOUT 2,000 people gathered to watch the St George’s Day parade in the city centre.

The Town Hall Square yesterday played host to a retelling of the story of the battle of St George against a fearsome dragon to mark the patron saint of England.

Chester-based artist Russell Kirk directed the hour long show which started at the Town Hall Square before moving onto Eastgate Street for a competition to see who was brave enough to take on the fearsome dragon.

The champions took part in sword fighting on Eastgate Street, an archery competition on Bridge Street and a jousting contest on the Town Hall Square, which saw St George crowned as the Queen’s champion, ably played by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Jill Houlbrook.

But the dragon slayed St George, played by Harry Kingham. He attacked it with his sword but Cllr Houlbrook came to the rescue by shooting the dragon dead with a pistol to save the day.

About 250 children from seven primary schools across Chester – Pine Lodge Short Stay School, Mill View Primary School, Dorin Park Specialist SEN College, Hoole All Saints, Upton Westlea Primary School, Waverton Primary School and Upton Heath Primary School – took part in the parade.

Director Russell Kirk, from Hoole, said the parade was very hands on. He said: “The children took part in the jousting and sword fighting so they played an active part in it.

“There were about 300 participants, with 250 of those being local school children, and I would say around 2,000 people watching it throughout the city.  The streets were packed. A lot of people come to watch this specially every year.”

Nigel Griffiths, who works at the Leader, played one fifth of the dragon during the parade.

He said: “In the dragon there was two English, one French, one Scot and one American. We managed to kill St George but we then got killed by the Lord Mayor.

“The kids absolutely loved it. Russell, the jester, and Steve Wallace, the herald, had them in stitches. It was great.”

The show was funded by the Lord Mayor of Chester with support from Cheshire West and Chester Council.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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