The Manchester Christmas Parade is this weekend - all you need to know!

  • Friday 1 December 2023

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Father Christmas pictured waving with a holly wreathed clocktower in view behind him.

The Manchester Christmas Parade takes place this Sunday

The Manchester Christmas Parade is back this weekend on Sunday 3 December, bringing with it an extra special dose of festive magic and sparkle to Santa's favourite city.

Bigger and even better than last year's first-ever Christmas parade in the city it will set off at 1 pm from Manchester Cathedral following a route down Deansgate, onto St Ann's Street, then along Cross Street and Corporation Street as far as the National Football Museum, where it will turn onto Fennel Street for the finish.

Guaranteed to put a smile on everyone's face as the festive season gets in full swing, the magical parade will see more than 400 participants take to the streets and weave their way through the city centre.

Think Snow Queens, Bouncing Elves and sparkling Christmas Glitter Belles, with an extra sprinkle of Candy Cane stilt walkers, Giant Nutcracker characters and Dancing Snowmen, all taking to the city streets alongside Reindeer, Owls and Festive Dinosaurs, as well as everyone's Christmas dinner favourite Dancing Sprouts - and suddenly once again it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Children won't want to miss catching a glimpse of Father Christmas as he takes time out from his toy-making workshop to join the parade, and should also keep their eyes peeled for a special appearance in the parade from 'Richard Parker' the life-size Bengal Tiger puppet and star of the hit play Life of Pi coming to The Lowry from 5 December to 7 January.

A Christmas parade wouldn't of course be a parade without some seasonal sounds to get everyone in the festive mood and making sure it's jingle bells all the way with live music, moves, and more will be the Global Grooves Nutcracker Bloco Band playing Santa's favourite Christmas songs, joined by troupes of dancers dressed in their sparkly best Christmas kit.

Adding to the festive fun this year's parade also features local school children who have taken part in 'make and move' workshop sessions to design and create some incredible parade-worthy Christmas trees and stars to show off in the parade using all the moves they've learned.

The parade is expected to last up to an hour from start to finish.  There will be two accessible viewing points for anyone in need: one outside Boots on Cross Street and the other on Deansgate at the junction with St Ann's Street.  Spaces available in both on a first-come, first-served basis.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council's Christmas spokesperson said: "We can't wait to welcome everyone back again for another fabulous Manchester Christmas Parade.  Last year's first ever parade was an absolute delight, the heart-warming event of the season, with Manchester at its magical Merry Christmas best.

"Bigger and even better this year it's going to be brilliant so wrap up warm, grab a Christmas hat and some tinsel and come and join us!"

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