A festive first is heading to Manchester this year with the announcement that Santa's favourite city is to hold its first ever Christmas Parade.
The magical parade filled with all the sights, sounds and sparkle that spell Christmas will weave its way through the streets of the city centre, to help bring some extra special Christmas cheer to the city.
Building on the success of the city's world-famous Manchester Day Parade, which after starting small for its first parade back in 2010 now regularly sees thousands of people flock to the city centre to watch it, the inaugural Manchester Christmas Parade will take place on Sunday 11 December.
Working in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District and outdoor art experts including Walk the Plank, Global Grooves, Handmade Parade and others, the parade promises to delight young and old.
With well over 100 parade participants, spectators can expect to see everything from Jacks of Frost and Fairy stilt-walkers, an Arctic Fox, and runaway Christmas Presents, to Cocky Robins, Glowing Gastropods with elf riders, and a never-before-seen Christmas Toy Procession.
Also making a special appearance in the parade will be the Town Hall Clock, wound up and looking its very festive best, helping make sure the parade runs like clockwork.
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: "Nowhere else does a parade quite like Manchester and and we can't wait to bring the first-ever, not-to-be-missed Manchester Christmas Parade to Santa's favourite city.
"Of all the places in the world that Santa could have chosen for this magical festive first, Manchester is the obvious choice.
"It's going to be fabulous and we can't wait!"
Businesses based in the city centre have been working in partnership with the council throughout the festive season via Manchester BID (Business Improvement District) to help make sure Christmas is magical in Manchester this year.
This has included commissioning a series of six Festive Sundays, filled with sparkling street performances to delight and surprise families in the run-up to Christmas, as well as teaming up with the council on the Manchester Christmas Parade.
Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square said: “We’re delighted to be involved in what will be Manchester’s first official Christmas Parade! As well as being a huge draw for families, it’s also a fantastic headline event for our programme of Festive Sundays which will see sparkling street performers including illuminated bands, roaming puppets, stilt-walkers, supersized penguins and more, take to the city’s main shopping streets for six consecutive Sundays during November and December.”
Starting at 1 pm on Sunday 11 December the Manchester Christmas Parade will take in Deansgate, St Ann's Street, Cross Street and St Mary's Gate.
More details on parade content and timings to follow!