This weekend marks the first bank holiday since June, and boy do we need it. Not only does it mean three lovely days off, but it also welcomes the return of Manchester Pride and with that comes a whole host of events, parties and workshops from parades to drag shows, queer cinema and more.

Some of the events taking place across the weekend are free to attend, including Jodie Harsh’s party at Ducie Street Warehouse and the historic Pride parade that is taking place on Saturday at midday. As well as this, we’ve put together a list of alternative free things to do in Manchester across the three day weekend, and there’s something for music lovers, foodies and even the chance to soak up some Hong Kong culture over in Stretford.

Freedom to Be party with Jodie Harsh | Ducie Street Warehouse | Fri 25 Aug | 6pm - midnight

Northern drag legend Jodie Harsh is behind the decks at Ducie Street Warehouse this Friday for its biggest Pride party yet. Joined by DJ Mikey Slade, voguers, gogo dancers, live musicians and more, it’s the perfect disco-clad place to start your four-day Pride weekender. Tickets are free but they don’t guarantee entry as it’s a first come first served party.

Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
Festa Italiana | Cathedral Gardens | Fri 25 – Sun 27 August | 12pm – 10pm

Back at Cathedral Gardens with copious amounts of pizza, pasta and summer spritz’, Festa Italiana is a must visit this weekend. Whether you’re refuelling ahead of Pride day two, or you just want somewhere to spend a family day out, the three-day festival is full of workshops, live demonstrations and, of course, lots of carbs. You can expect stalls from local Manchester talent including; Salvi’s, The Pasta Factory and I Knead Pizza, as well as free pasta masterclasses for kids from pasta magician Carmela Sereno Hayes.

Cathedral Gardens, Corporation St, Manchester M4 3BG
Manchester Pride Parade | Manchester City Centre | Sat 26 Aug | Midday

Manchester’s famous Pride Parade returns on Saturday with a 2023 theme of ‘Queerly Beloved’. As always, the march is a celebration of love, community and self-expression, but this year it will also commemorate 10 years since marriage equality became law in England and Wales. Starting at the Junction of Liverpool Road and Deansgate at midday, the colourful parade will then journey through the streets of the city centre celebrating Manchester’s LGBTQIA+ community through the transformative power of the dancefloor..

Live and Unsigned | Band On The Wall | Sat 26 Aug | 3pm – 7pm

This Saturday, Band On The Wall will open its venue up to a number of unsigned artists for the afternoon, offering future stars a chance to perform on one of the city’s most iconic stages. Kicking off at 3pm, ‘hypersoul’ artist Hayden J Barlow is on the line-up, alongside acoustic artist Ayanam Udoma and Tom Johnson.

Band On The Wall, 25 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
Hong Kong Arts and Culture Day | Stretford Public Hall | Sat 26 Aug | 10am – 4pm

Trafford Hongkongers CIC are taking over Stretford Public Hall this Saturday for six hours of workshops, food stalls, seminars and music. Guests will get the chance to expand their artistic skills through watercolour workshops and ink wash painting, and dive into the history of tea culture at a tea tasting session. There’ll also be a range of local traders offering traditional cuisine at the market.

Stretford Public Hall, Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 0LG
The Hot Bed Print Fair | Hot Bed Press | Sat 26 – Sun 27 Aug | 11am – 5pm

Looking to revamp your living room with a new art print? Salford’s Hot Bed Press is hosting over 30 creative traders this weekend selling handprinted goods, zines, posters and more for you to spend your afternoon digging through. Vinyl Night Radio will soundtrack the two-day event as you rummage your way through unique handmade pieces. Hot Bed Press has also organised some hands-on family friendly print activities for visitors to get involved in, too, if you’ve got the kids in tow.

Hot Bed Press, The Casket Works, Cow Ln, Salford M5 4NB
Mon 21 Aug - Mon 28 Aug
Emma Davidson
Published on:
Mon 21 Aug 2023