CHRISTMAS is coming to Chester on Saturday with the opening of the traditional Christmas Market in Town Hall Square.

There are over 70 chalet stalls this year, around the Christmas tree. Building the market was later this year due to the Remembrance services; this has meant the market is now open from November 16 until Sunday, December 22.

The Christmas Market is free to enter, with stalls selling locally produced treats and gifts, there will be food, drink (including hot mulled drinks), handmade crafts, jewellery, clothes, accessories, stocking fillers and much more.

It is open Sunday to Wednesday 10am-6pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-8pm.

Chester’s 12 Days of Christmas parade is on Thursday, November 21, starting at 7pm.

Father Christmas will be appearing throughout the parade that travels from Town Hall Square to St Werburgh Street, Eastgate Street, Bridge Street, Pepper Street, St John’s and back to the Town Hall via Eastgate and Northgate Street. There will be pyrotechnics to greet Father Christmas and a firework display as the parade passes the amphitheatre.

The parade will pass under the 370m of Christmas lights, that’s 80,000 bulbs in the city centre. Across the borough this year there are four 30 to 35ft Christmas trees decorated with approximately 11,000 LED lights plus a further 50,000 LED lights in other trees.

This is just the start of the celebrations with late night shopping, more parades and a Gingerbread Village that is open between November 16 and December 22. The Village is at 2 Frodsham Square, near the bus interchange.

At the Gingerbread Village you can decorate gift bags and make custom wrapping paper for Christmas gifts. Children will be able to create their own gingerbread people, adding to the city wide gingerbread paper chain.

Pick up your Christmas in Chester Passport and collect a stamp. All activities are free with donations accepted for a nominated charity. The Village will be open Thursdays 3pm to 7pm, Fridays 10.30am to 1.30pm, Saturdays 11am to 4.30pm and Sundays 11.30am to 3.30pm.

The city's Park and Ride will have extended running times until 9pm, starting on Thursday, November 21 and on each late night shopping Thursday in the run up to Christmas.

Chester’s Park and Ride service is £2 per person for an all-day return with children under 16 travelling free with a paying adult.