Incredible Manchester Day
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets to experience the annual city-wide celebration of Manchester with this year’s Word On The Street theme.
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 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 show!
Many took to Twitter using #manchesterday making the day a truly international party.