England’s patron saint will be remembered in Manchester with a colourful parade on Sunday and a tea dance on St George’s Day, Wednesday next week.
The St George parade will be given a civic send-off from Varley Street, Miles Platting, by the Lord Mayor of Manchester at noon on Sunday.
It will make its way to Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, arriving at about 12.45pm, led by characters in the costumes of Queen Victoria and Henry VIII.
Adding even more colour to the spectacle will be St George's Knights and a dragon, the Assheton Bowmen, belly dancers, steel, brass, pipe, samba and jazz bands, the Adamson Military Band, Morris dancers, rose queens and a town crier.
Community groups from the city and as far afield as Liverpool, Wigan, Tameside, Derbyshire and Chester will take part.
There will also be a trio of England's Shire horses, including Titan, National Champion in 2007 and 2008, plus Captain and Jimmy.
Floats are expected to include ones depicting an English tea party and an English Garden.
Another attraction in Piccadilly Gardens this weekend will be the first of a series of five weekend spring markets offering arts, crafts, unique gifts, food and drink.
For this weekend only the market will be extended to include Sunday opening to coincide with the parade. The market will be open on Fridays and Saturdays for the following four weekends.
Also on Saturday there will be some entertainment in Piccadilly Gardens from 12.30pm, including music and dancing, and a junior town crier competition.
Jack St George - also known as Jack Bradshaw, one of the organisers of the event - will be around the market this weekend encouraging shoppers to join in the celebrations and to support the parade.
He said: "It promises to be another great day for all the family so please bring along those flags, wear your Red Rose with pride, wave and cheer - but above all, enjoy yourselves, this is your parade."
The St George's Day tea dance to be held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall will involve 150 older people invited through the Valuing Older People Network.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council's deputy executive member for Arts and Leisure, said: "The parade will be a noisy and colourful spectacle with something for all the family. Combined with the spring market, it will provide an enjoyable day out in the city."
The spring market will be open from 9am to 5pm each day.
Martin Hellewell tel, 0161 234 3729