Manchester Christmas Parade: spectacular new festive procession to head through city centre - when it is

The event, which is being held for the first time, will aim to spread some festive cheer and is based on the success of the Manchester Day Parade.

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A spectacular festive procession will make its way through the city centre as the first Manchester Christmas Parade has been announced.

The event will aim to spread some festive cheer in the middle of Manchester in December and is based on the successful Manchester Day Parade which attracts thousands of people each year in the summer. Manchester City Council is promising a colourful Christmas spectacle with musicians, performers and a host of festive characters. Here’s what you need to know about when the Manchester Christmas Parade is and what will be happening.

What is the Manchester Christmas Parade and when is it?

The Manchester Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday 11 December and will feature all the sights and sounds associated with the most wonderful time of the year.

The procession will make its way through the city centre, beginning at 1pm on Deansgate at the junction with Blackfriars Street. It will then travel south along Deansgate, before turning left onto St Ann’s Street, then left onto Cross Street. It will go past Boots and the Royal Exchange Theatre before turning left onto Market Street, going past Marks and Spencer and heading along St Mary’s Gate to Deansgate . It willbe a circular route, finishing back where it started.

Organisers are expecting the parade to take about an hour to make its way around the whole route. There will be an accessible viewing point outside Boots on Cross Street, with spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There will be more than 100 people in the parade, which is being put together in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District (BID) and outdoor art experts including Walk the Plank, Global Grooves and Handmade Parade.

The arctic fox which will be part of the Manchester Christmas Parade. Credit: The Manc PhotographerThe arctic fox which will be part of the Manchester Christmas Parade. Credit: The Manc Photographer
The arctic fox which will be part of the Manchester Christmas Parade. Credit: The Manc Photographer

Parade watchers will be able to spot everything from Jack Frost, fairy stilt-walkers and an arctic fox to runaway Christmas presents, robins, glowing gastropods with elf riders and a procession of toys. The Town Hall Clock, wound up and looking its festive best, will also be in the procession to make sure the parade runs like clockwork while Santa Claus himself will be leading the procession at the front. The Bloco Band will be playing a selection of everyone’s favourite Christmas songs to get Mancunians in the festive mood.

The idea comes from the Manchester Day Parade, which started out as a fairly small event in 2010 but is now a spectacular celebration of the city and its people which has thousands of visitors flocking to the middle of Manchester to see it. Manchester City Council and Manchester BID has been pulling out all the stops to make the festive season magical, with events including the six Festive Sundays of outdoor entertainment.

What has been said about the Manchester Christmas Parade?

Coun Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “I can’t tell if we’re more excited about Manchester’s first-ever Christmas Parade, or if Santa is. He keeps telling me if we give him a starring role at the front of it I’ll be on his Nice List, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed..

“We really can’t wait to welcome everyone into town for this festive first for the city. It’s going to be wonderful to see everyone coming together to enjoy it, especially after the last few years - Manchester at its magical Merry Christmas best, and all for free. So wrap up warm, pull on your boots and a Christmas hat, and come and join us.”

The Global Grooves Bloco Band The Global Grooves Bloco Band
The Global Grooves Bloco Band

Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID chair and general manager at the Selfridges store in 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 are seeing 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.”