Tens of thousands of people lined the streets today to experience the annual city-wide celebration of Manchester with this year’s theme – THE WORD ON THE STREET
The huge crowds created a wonderful atmosphere as they enjoyed the
fantastic floats, amazing costumes, musicians and more than 80 local
community groups who weaved their way down Deansgate, through Albert Square
and performed across multiple city square locations.
Setting the scene for this year’s WORD ON THE STREET theme, the lead float
represented the need to protect the planet: with rising seas, giant sun and
a polar bear stranded on a melting ice cap. Protecting the environment
featured heavily in Manchester Young Lives’ section which showed a giant
octopus and other sea creatures floating in a sea of plastic waste.
Protest and poetry both featured in the parade – from Lemn Sissay’s poem
Invisible Kisses which inspired Manchester School of Samba, to the
Suffragette banners of the Pankhurst Centre. Children loved the scary green
Boggart, created with the Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project; and everyone
loved the fantastically rich colours and costumes of the Filipino, Mexican
and South Indian communities.
Now customary for Manchester Day, the event spilled over to the public
squares as the creative canvas was stretched across the city centre for the
afternoon. The crowds were spoilt by a spell-binding array of performance
and entertainment – along with delicious food – in Albert Square, St Ann’s
Square and Cathedral Gardens.
Heavy Beats, who worked with New Orleans musician Keith Frazier to develop
their street sounds, supported by Arts Council England’s Elevate
investment; the RNCM bands, show-casing the fantastic musical talent of
their students, and #We Stand Together’s giant 3D crossword.
Commissioned by Manchester City Council, and produced by local outdoor arts
experts Walk the Plank, Manchester Day is now in its ninth successful year
and has evolved into so much more than a parade.
The driving principle behind this hugely popular civic celebration is
inclusivity, collaboration and participation, with contributions from
groups representing the city’s diverse spectrum of cultures.
The event has also attracted internationally-renowned artists and guests
from other countries, including Nigeria and Egypt, who have come to see how
Manchester puts on such a huge celebration, and also to be part of the
Many took to Twitter using #manchesterday making the day a truly
For more information visit: www.manchesterday.co.uk or join the
conversation on Twitter via @manc_day.
Don’t forget the photo competition is open until 5pm on Monday 25 June for
the chance to win some incredible prizes.
Visit www.manchesterday.co.uk/competition to find out more.
Cllr Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “Nine years in and the
spectacle of seeing more than 1,500 people parade through the city centre
never fails to amaze me. The colour, the sound, the artwork and sheer
creativity of it all is simply astounding.
“It’s an absolute joy to see the faces of everyone involved and the faces
of the crowd who are loving it as much - if not more - than the people
parading down Deansgate.
“It’s never been more important to celebrate our great city, and celebrate
the huge diversity that makes Manchester a wonderful place to work, live
and play. Today we show the world that it’s our differences that make us
great and we will never forget that.
“Manchester you have done us proud once again.”
Liz Pugh, Producer at Walk the Plank, said: “So much hard work goes into
the parade with many thousands of hours of glueing, painting, sewing
dancing and rehearsing in community centres across the city in the weeks
beforehand. We are so grateful to all the participants and volunteers as
well as the artists and council team who make this wonderful free event so
magical. We’re already excited about the tenth anniversary parade, in 2019,
and we would love to hear people’s ideas for the theme next year.”
The parade also received significant private sector sponsorship with
presenting partners Manchester Airport and BT.
Other sponsors include: Redgate, Biffa and Turner and Townsend.
Our other supporters were: RCP Parking, Matt and Phreds, Wythenshawe
Community Housing Group, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Utilities
Design and Planning Ltd.
Media partners were Global Radio and MEN Media.