The Chester Arts Fair – Festival 2014

The Chester Arts Fair returns in 2014, showcasing some of the world’s most renowned artists – taking place at the fantastic Chester Racecourse venue. Past events have seen over 5000 visitors make their way to experience the phenomenal array of contemporary art over the course of an atmospheric autumn weekend in the height of November.

chester art fair

Image: flickr.com/burnaway

The standard of art on show at this event will be of extremely high quality, as previous years have welcomed work by Kelly Darlington (winner of UK’s best-selling published artist) as well as world famous sculptor Nick Elphick who was commissioned to sculpt the Olympians and the Queen for the Diamond Jubilee. The fair in the past has enjoyed a range of visual art, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass work and much more that will, while upcoming fairs look to improve and build upon past success. More information will be revealed as the fair approaches, so keep a look out for further details.

chesterraces

Chester Racecourse function rooms play host to the arts fair.
Image: flickr.com/dm3photography

Chester Arts Fair hosts a range of international contemporary art including some of the most exciting work today. The fair will display a fantastic array of art, while offering a range of other interesting activities and entertainment including talks, commissions, film projects, presentations and viewings that will ensure that artists and visitors are able to interact with one another to engage the city in arts and culture, which will help form the path to the 2017 aim of gaining Chester the status of ‘City of Culture’.

A number of works are sold in a Charity Art Auction in support of Claire House Children’s Hospice as well as Chester Arts Foundation that supports Art across the educational sector where schools, colleges and universities reap benefits to move forward with their art projects and development.

The fair for 2014 is still under planning, however it worth remembering to stay ‘in the loop’ when it comes to finding out more and attending this event that always delivers. Hundreds of paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics and original prints – all shown in a friendly and relaxed environment ensures that there is most definitely something for everyone!

Visitors to the area that don’t want to miss out on this fantastic event can check out the fantastic range of accommodation in Chester that come in a variety of types, so there is something suitable for everyone.

Event: November 2014

Chester Half Marathon Breaks Records

runIn bothersome climes and scorching sunlight, people from all over came to take part in one of the most successful Chester Marathon’s to date this weekend.

May 18th saw thousands of entrants into one of the North’s most popular endurance events with the 7000 strong attendees set a new record for entrants in the process. After 33 years of competition and many more miles ran, it’s another great accomplishment for this beloved event.

One of the hottest days of the year so far brought with plenty of athletes and amateur runners all eager to beat their personal bests or to take part in a charity run. One such professional athlete was Kenyan born Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, winner of last year’s contest who won this 2014’s edition and shaved a few minutes off his previous time.

“I led the race from start to finish and found it pretty comfortable as I’m familiar with the route after winning last year,“ he said.

“The weather was really warm, but the wind helped me get round in good time. This was the best time I’ve ever done in a UK race, and I’ll be back again next year to try to beat it again.”

Gemma Connolly of Runcorn completed the marathon as the first female to cross the line.

Charity runners were out in force and what a great effort they put in to raise money for worthwhile causes. Alder Hey Hospital, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support were all represented at this year’s contest.

The 13.1 mile course however, didn’t come without its difficulties. In total, it’s estimated that 100 runners had to bow out thanks to the effects of the heat which reached 23C. Nobody was seriously harmed which was helped by the superb organisation of Active Events Leisure.

The full Chester Marathon returns this year on the 5th of October. If you missed the opportunity to enter the half-marathon, the full edition has spaces left but be sure to act fast to avoid disappointment.

“run” by www.flickr.com/photos/renneville, License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Baby Komodo Dragons Arrive at Chester Zoo

The Komodo DragonAs one of the best places for animals of all shapes and sizes to be conserved, protected and cared for, it should come as no surprise that Chester Zoo has jumped at the chance to take responsibility for three new baby Komodo dragons this month!

Each are just three month old females and can currently fit into the palm of your hand – quite the difference from their full-grown stage as adults! Komodo dragons are the largest lizards on the planet and are notorious for being fearsome predators so you’d expect the zookeepers to be appreciating the cuteness while it still lasts.

Originating from Colchester, the dragons will have to have constant care fed at least every four days so they grow into their full, formidable size. Komodo’s can live for up to 30 years with Jantan and Ora, current residents at Chester Zoo, being adults with a few years under their belts.

Dr Gerardo Garcia of Chester Zoo said: “Our feisty new trio may be small at the moment but they’ll soon grow into impressive young ladies.

“With them being just a few months old they are fed every four days, unlike our older dragons who currently feed every month. It’s really important that our keepers get to work closely with dragons of different ages as they are very, very different. The intensive care they give to these animals and all of the skills they learn working with them here, can be transferred to the field and could be crucial in terms of protecting them in the wild.”

This is just another step in the zoo’s initiative to raise the conservation profile for Komodo dragons. On the Indonesian isle of Flores, these magnificent animals are currently at an endangered status. By highlighting how important the dragons are to the local environment with security measures implemented to be maintained by the local people, Chester Zoo are doing more than most to preserve the future of these legendary lizards.

To offer support to Chester Zoo, please visit: www.chesterzoo.org/support-us

“The Komodo dragon” by www.flickr.com/photos/rachdian

License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Get to The Gathering in Chester this Weekend

ChesterBelieve it or not, summer is finally approaching and there’s one event that signifies this more than any other here in Chester and it is set for another fantastic year.

We are of course talking about the amazing ‘The Gathering’ on the 4th of May and it is all set to be as big a celebration of music and the arts that it has been for the past 6 years. This micro-festival has been making a bit of a richly-deserved name for itself with Chester city centre providing the perfect location for some (hopefully) sunny fun.

Situated in Rufus Court, The Gathering in 2014 can boast live bands, DJs as well as all the stalls and activities you could want to keep the children busy. Possibly the biggest name on the bill is Slim Boy Fat , a tribute act to Fat Boy Slim with sets from the likes of Blue Bottle Veins, Burning Out, Jed is Dead, Perseus, Veil, The Jigsaws, Washington Reed, Indigo Sky, Dead Pixels, Gary Edward Band, and Luke Cusato.

There will also be ever more events for kids than there were at 2013’s edition with them now catering to both youngsters and teenagers. Those with an eye for the creative may enjoy taking part in one of the great master classes and workshops that are going on throughout the day.

If your child has a passion for drama, dance, art, music and more then you are in luck as their will be many workshops across the occasion that will be available for free as it’s been provided by the Chester Council as a way of getting more young people involved in the community.

Minerva Arts representative Steph Brocken said: “The activities are really wide ranging – from visual arts to music to theatre and historical re-enactments. I think it is set to be a unique event; one of the most unusual packages of activity overall in the North West in 2014.”

So whichever art form is your favourite, you’re sure to find something you love at ‘The Gathering’ 2014 and perhaps a new passion for the kids to get involved with this May 4th.

“Chester bench” by www.flickr.com/photos/30661871@N03

License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Chester Racecourse Day Fixtures this May

Chester RacesThere are a few words and phrases that often come up when talking about Chester and of course one of them has to be ‘horse racing’. This is exactly what you can expect to enjoy this May in the Roman city on three great days of events.

Chester Raceourse is a meeting ground for the rich and famous who want an entertaining day out with patrons including the likes of Michael Own and other celebrated horse enthusiasts but this doesn’t mean that it’s an elitist venue – people of all ages are welcome!

There are fewer places better for racing than in Chester as the Racecourse is the destination for many events and races throughout the year with it even being more popular than some of the most renowned locations down south. That’s why the 7th, 8th and 9th of May are destined to be well attended ahead of the busier Summer schedule.

It’s not just racing that Chester Racecourse is noted for as it’s also widely recognised as being a great for all things polo. From professional matches to practice games, there’s something for everyone who loves the sport with the LDF International Polo Weekend also taking place this month on the 24th of May.

Also aside from the racing, you and friends and family can unwind at one of the many great restaurants and bars on-site at the Racecourse. With the choices that include the Final Furlong restaurant, The Finishing Post Bar, Turf Restaurant, The White Horse and also Restaurant 1539 (which comes with an envious panoramic view of the course itself), you wouldn’t be judged if you were to miss the racing altogether.

On the 7th of May, you can enjoy the Stan James Cup Day, on the 8th you can look forward to the Boodles Ladies Day and the 9th bring the Boodles City Day. For any more information on any of the events at Chester Raceourse this May, please contact: kpotempa@chester-races.com

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Cheshire Falconry

Cheshire FalconryLove birds? Then you need to get yourself to the wonderful Cheshire Falconry and have a great day out with our feathered friends.

Animal preservation is important as birds’ habitats continue to be endangered so it’s great to see that the experts at Cheshire Falconry are fully devoted to housing and caring for over 60 birds of prey. It’s often believed that these large birds are scary and dangerous but after spending a session with these majestic birds, you’ll find them to be the exact opposite.

The falconry is open 7 days a week and is one of the most popular destinations for families, particularly during the school holidays. What you can get up to during your visit is up to you and you can stay away from the birds and marvel at them from afar or you can get up close and personal with them!

So, what species can you see at the falconry? All of the best of Britain and of course some majestic eagles. You can be in the company of one of these magical animals for as little as half an hour or six hours if you really want to appreciate them.

Even if it doesn’t sound quite like your thing, you can always buy a gift voucher for a loved one so they can spend some time at Cheshire Falconry. The lucky recipient then has the chance to book a session of their choice and could be the perfect birthday present.

The Cheshire Falconry also offers great open days to schools and can often even be found at local events and shows with the option to hire the guys out available to you and your business. Probably the most impressive thing that these birds have done is to be the ringbearer for a couple of weddings at the falconry in the past.

So, if you’re visiting Nantwich in the near future and want to get in touch with nature, there’s no better place to do it than at Cheshire Falconry.

Please visit: www.cheshirefalconry.com for full details and information.

“DSC_0156″ by www.flickr.com/photos/65224487@N05, License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

What’s On at The Forum Studio Theatre in Chester

stage right, stage leftThe Forum Studio Theatre in Chester is one of the most popular entertainment venues throughout the city and for good reason as it’s always thriving with exciting productions and plays which can suit people across a broad range of ages.

As we approach summer, the theatre’s billing only get better so we here at Chester Borderlands compiled two of the best arriving over the next month.

When We Are Married – April 3rd – April 12th

Dir: Peter Swingler

A superb adaptation of the classic comedy by Priestley is first on the agenda for The Forum with it staying on stage for over a week, giving you plenty of time to catch it.

Set during the 1900’s in the north of England, When We Are Married is a hilarious trip down nostalgia lane as three couples who were all married on the same day by the same vicar look back on 25 years of the ups and downs. However, it transpires that the vicar might not have been all that he made out to be…

Cast:

Joseph Helliwell – Dave Perkins

Maria Helliwell – Janice Gavin

Albert Parker – Bill Hughes

Annie Parker – Gwen Cowan

Herbert Soppitt – Derek Weigh

Clara Soppitt – Janice Fryett

Henry Ormonroyd – John Lindop

Rev Clement Mercer – Grahame Smith

Gerard Forbes – Dan Ellis

Fred Dyson – Peter Marnell

Ruby Birtle – Vicki Daniels

Lottie Grady – Jo Lloyd

Mrs Northrop – Maureen Rutherford

Nancy – Harriet Jones

Call 01244 341296 for more information.

Godspell – April 22nd –April 26th 2014

Chester is as closely associated with the arts as it is its Roman heritage so it should come as no surprise that youngsters from the area and nearby towns are taking part in this Theatretrain production.

Schools from Chester, Wrexham and Mold will all be coming together to give their rendition of Godspell from the 22nd of April to the 26th of April with each performance kicking off at 7pm. If you want to catch bright young talent in the Northern area, be sure not to miss out on this.

Wednesday 23rd April – CHESTER SATURDAY SCHOOL

Thursday 24th April – WREXHAM SCHOOL

Friday 25th April – CHESTER FRIDAY SCHOOL

Saturday 26th April – MOLD SCHOOL

Sunday 27th April (2pm) – MOLD SCHOOL – Extra Performance Added

Call 01244 341296 for more information.

“stage right, stage left” by www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey

License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Events in Chester & the Surrounding Areas Coming Soon

Events in ChesterAs Spring starts to spring to life and the grey skies start to light up again, there are few better places to spend a lovely summer’s day out in than Chester and the Roman city has more than enough events to make your time away a great occasion.

Here are just a few of the premier events lined up over the coming months:

Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival – 17th to 21st of April
Situated in the market town of Nantwich which is typically always buzzing with something to do even if there isn’t a big event on, this much loved music festival will be a welcome form of entertainment to those who like jazz and blues: two of the oldest and most revered genres of music around.

Across the area, you can expect to see many musicians performing at pubs and clubs over what is bound to be a great few days.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre – 27th of June to 24th of August
Although it’s only been going for four short seasons, the attractions available at this theatre during its open period over summer have made it one of the premier destinations for live entertainment events in Chester and Cheshire already.

This year, expect to see adaptations of the likes of The Secret Garden, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors after a great reception for last year’s performances. As the only open air theatre outside of London, you’re sure to be in great company.

Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle Festival 2014 – 19th of April to 21st of April
If you’re thinking of visiting Chester for the first time this April, you’re bound to come away with a very positive outlook on this historic city as this micro-festival is a great time for all.

As soon as you walk through Chester Raceourse, you’ll be greeted by a whole menagerie of different sights, sounds and smells as there will be only the finest in food and drink available to you on your visit. Staggered across themed villages, there’s bound to be something to sate the palate of everyone at this event.

Chester Rocks Line Up Announced

Dizzee RascalThe much awaited billing for the massive Chester Rocks has finally been announced with the names on the list being more eclectic than they’ve ever been before.

Mercury Prize winning rapper Dizzee Rascal is the headlining act and he’s sure to bring his raucous energy to proceedings during the event which takes place from the 6th of June to the 8th of June. You may know Dizzee from the hit single ‘Bonkers’ as well as some of his earlier work including ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’.

Also announced, the indie kings Razorlight will be attending Chester Racecourse and will no doubt relish belting out some of the anthems. The controversial Johnny Borrell fronts the band and will delight in bringing classics such as ‘America’ and ‘Somewhere Else’ to the buoyant crowd – if you haven’t heard of the latter then you’re missing out on one of the essential songs of the noughties!

Another supporting act are the pop rockers The Hoosiers who might be best known for their hits ‘Worried About Ray’ and ‘Goodbye Mr. A’ during the indie invasion last decade. The Feeling offer a much more mellow sound and they’ll also be playing at Chester Rocks this June: check ‘Fill My Little Word’ if you need to refresh your memory on this London based band.

Pop fans of the 90’s and 00’s will go wild for the line-up on Sunday the 8th of June as 5ive, 911, Eternal and A1 have been billed to take part in a summer party. Look no further for your fix of cheesy nostalgia than this perfect way to wrap up 2014’s occasion.

Organisers are aiming to beat last year’s attendance of  20000 when the likes of Jessie J and The Wanted performed. Event organiser Lynsey Jones said: “The line-up this year has a broader appeal than ever before and we’re also delighted to be showcasing local talent. We hope to see another record breaking attendance over the three days.”

Tickets for Chester Rocks 2014 will be available from Friday at 9pm and can be bought from www.chester-rocks.com from £28.50.

“Dizzee ’13″ by www.flickr.com/photos/mayeesherr

License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

Chester Zoo Visited by 1.5 Million in 2013

Lemur at Chester ZooIf you’re yet to visit Chester Zoo (really?), you can count yourself amongst the 1.5 million who visited one of the North’s best attractions when you finally make the trip as the long-running landmark has had a stellar year.

An amazing one a half million people stepped through the gates of Chester Zoo in 2013, making it the most visited attraction outside of London. In fact, it even had more people visit than at the Houses of Parliament! It must be something to do with the red pandas…

This continues the distinction for the Upton-based attraction and conservation centre of being massively popular as it has been ousting the capital’s most famous haunts for three years straight now. In fact, Chester Zoo has even been visited 100,000 times more than its supposedly larger cousin, London Zoo!

Perhaps its great popularity boils down to a recent baby boom, as managing director Jamie Christon explains: “We are delighted to take the top spot yet again and I think that’s proof that we’re doing things right.

“Last year we had a host of breeding successes including tiger and cheetah cubs and rhino calves, all of which have been important for conservation but also a big draw for visitors.

“This year we have already seen the birth of a rare Grevy’s zebra foal and the arrival of two new Komodo dragons.”

And the purple patch for the zoo looks like continuing as plans to build the Islands project, on a larger scale than anything seen before in the country, continue to develop: “We’re constantly evolving and offering people new and exciting things to come and experience,” Mr Christon continued.

“In previous years this has included world first attractions such as our display of animatronic bugs and with the opening of Islands fast approaching, we can guarantee that there are very exciting times ahead.”