AN ENCHANTED forest, ice rink and festive market will feature in the ‘Winter Wonderland’ spectacular at Chester Racecourse.
Open between November 24 and December 31, the attraction will also boast bars, traditional fairground rides and a grotto.
There will also be a preview evening on November 21 as part of the lighting up of the city parade, which will officially mark the start of Christmas in Chester.
Racegoers at the annual family funday were treated to a sneak-peak of what will be on offer.
The racecourse converted the paddock suites into a mini ‘Winter Wonderland’, providing people with a glimpse of the detail and magic that will be created at the racecourse this winter.
Racegoers were able to see life-size characters, an enchanted forest full of animal animatronics including rabbits, foxes, reindeer, polar bears and penguins.
There was also a parade, which included an ice queen, life size toy soldiers and elves. The Winter Wonderland horse, jockey and mascot were also unveiled during the parade.
Marketing Cheshire CEO Katrina Michel said: “It is our aim to deliver a Christmas experience that Chester can be proud of which can have a positive impact on our local economy during the Christmas period.
“The idea is to make Chester a go to destination this Christmas and one people will be talking about until the following year.”
Richard Thomas, chief executive of Chester Race Company, said: “We really hope that the city embraces the Winter Wonderland and the efforts of the council and Marketing Cheshire to ensure that the event is a huge success.”
Chester Business Park-based M&S Bank has sponsored the enchanted forest and ice rink.
Amanda Newman, marketing director at M&S Bank, sad: “In recent years we have been involved with the annual family fun day at Chester Racecourse to great success.
“When the opportunity came up to be a part of the first-ever Winter Wonderland celebration, we knew it was something we couldn’t pass up.
“Christmas is a special time of year and we’re excited to be able to sponsor such a magical event and give something back to the community.
“It is set to be an event to remember which will kick-off the city’s Christmas festivities in style.”
Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture on Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “With its huge range of quality shops and boutiques, and great places to eat and drink, Chester is the perfect destination for festive fun.
“Creating a fantastic and memorable experience for the whole family is down to great partnership working between the public and private sectors, and Chester Racecourse’s Winter Wonderland is going to add some real sparkle to our Christmas celebrations this year.
“Really, there’s nowhere else like Chester during the festive season – it’s magical.”