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Manchester Christmas Markets 2021: what’s on and what’s new for Piccadilly Gardens

Pat Karney, the councillor in charge of Christmas events in Manchester, tells us why Piccadilly Gardens was chosen and what to expect from the 2021 event.

Eager to make up for missed celebrations, Manchester City Council have announced that a new family-friendly Winter Gardensattraction will be launched in the heart of the city at Piccadilly Gardens.

This year’s festivities will return with a bang from Friday 12 November following a toned-down Christmas season last year in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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However there is one difference this year which will see Piccadilly Gardens transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

Visitors will be able to warm those long winter evenings with lashings of food and drink, soaking up the Christmas atmosphere from under marquee covered seating (in case Manchester’s weather is true to form), and festoon lighting creating that festival feel.

The numbers of visitors will be controlled with one-way routes and separate entrances and exits helping people remain socially distanced, after testing it out in the summer.

Six locations in all will be involved in the markets: Piccadilly Gardens, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, King Street and Market Street.

The Christmas markets will open the same day as the Winter Gardens on 12 December and trade through until Wednesday 22nd December, just before the big day. However, the Winter Gardens will be open right through until the New Year on Monday 3 January 2022.