Manchester Day 2016
Credit: Mark Waugh

The countdown has begun for this year’s extra special Manchester Day which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

And in honour of that anniversary the theme this year is 10 out of 10, which will be reflected in a host of colourful and flamboyant floats that will snake through the city centre in the popular parade.

The mass celebration created by the people of Manchester will take over Cathedral Gardens and St Ann’s Square between midday and 6pm, transform the city centre with a cacophony of sound, colour and movement.

The parade will see more than 1,500 people dance, push and pull their creations through the streets starting from Princess Street at 1pm and culminating on Deansgate near the Cathedral.

The city’s squares become outdoor venues for the day, with a packed schedule of entertainers that make Manchester Day one of the most popular free days out in the city’s event calendar.  Here’s everything you need to know to have fun on Sunday!

Manchester Day timings

Pic Mark Waugh

The celebrations start on Sunday from 12noon and there will be lots happening until 6pm in the city centre.

The parade timings are as follows:-

1.00pm Start at Princess St
1.15pm Peter Street
1.30pm Deansgate
1.45pm Parade head arrives at Cathedral
2.30pm Parade finishes at Cathedral

All parade timings are approximate.

Parade route

Manchester Day Parade route

It’s a new parade route for Manchester Day this year, starting at 1pm on Princess Street, instead of in previous years on Deansgate.

The parade will snake along Portland Street, Peter Street and then right on to Deansgate, where it will finish outside Manchester Cathedral at approximately 2.30pm.

Organisers say they expect the first section of the route to be a little quieter (Princess St and Portland St) so might be an easier option for families with young children.  There will also be an accessible viewing area in front of Kendals (House of Fraser) on Deansgate, where entry will be managed by stewards.

After the stunning parade has wowed the crowds along the route and reached the finish line at the end of Deansgate, there will be a collection of the parade creations on display at Parade Plaza (in front of Manchester Cathedral) from 4pm to 6pm for you to take a closer look at – the perfect opportunity for a selfie or two.

Creating the event is a mammoth undertaking with the expert help of Walk the Plank – artistic producers of Manchester Day – that sees community groups from across the city working with some of the region’s top artists to create everything we see on the day – from props and costumes to the incredible floats and giant artworks.

What else is happening?

Pic Mark Waugh

There will be lots to see and do across the city during the afternoon, with the main focus on three city centre areas – Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Square and St Ann’s Square.

St Ann’s Square

Get creative in the WoW Zone as St Ann’s Square a hive of activity and a marvellous making station. You can have a go at making your own parade hat, or move your feet to the beat, join a dance session and parade in the people’s procession at 5pm.

This is also the place to find the I Love MCR stall where, in keeping with Manchester Day’s own message of going green this year, you can find our new eco-friendly range of products including our 100% organic t-shirts which celebrate our pride in the city.

Exchange Square

This will be the place to find the Manchester Day Market, from Manchester-inspired art and prints to local artists’ jewellery, crafts and produce.

Cathedral Gardens

Cathedral Gardens will play host to “spectacle and surprise” with an eclectic mix of music to celebrate the best in Manchester sounds, from uplifting choirs, RNCM Session Orchestra and foot stomping 90s rave classics from Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners.  Circus House will dazzle the crowds with a showstopping aerial performance, while local talents Chameleon Youth and RW Dance bring their moves to the square.

Food and drink

Keeping the Manchester Day devotees well fed, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival have curated a mouth-watering selection of food and drink stalls that will help satiate all tastes.

There will be a range of street food sellers across the three squares (above) on Sunday – with everything from tapas to sausages, ice cream and churros.

What's on your mind?