On Sun Dec 3, Manchester’s eagerly anticipated Christmas Parade returns with a new, extended route, live music, enormous festive floats and a host of special surprises.

Described as ‘bigger and better’ than last year’s inaugural occasion by Manchester City Council, the free and family-friendly yuletide carnival is set to ignite the city’s seasonal sparkle and unofficially kick off the big day build-up as it plots a vibrant path through the centre of town.
The route begins at Manchester Cathedral before taking the party onto Deansgate, turning onto St. Ann’s Street, past the Christmas Markets and onto Coroporation Street, finally ending on Fennel Street, between the Corn Exchange and the National Football Museum.

Featuring over 400 participants, this year’s Christmas Parade promises a dazzling variety of enchanting characters, creations and performers, from Candy Cane stilt walkers, Dancing Snowmen and classic Nutcracker Soldiers to Snow Queens, Bounding Elves and Glitter Belles, as well as colossal reindeer, festive dinosaurs and, naturally, Santa Claus himself.

A team of shimmering dancers will be on hand to keep the merriment going throughout the Christmas extravaganza, backed by live music, moves and sounds from the Global Grooves Nutcracker Bloco Band.

New for 2023, the parade hosts a spectacular surprise guest in collaboration with The Lowry. Brought to life by a team of talented actors, the life-sized puppet of Bengal tiger ‘Richard Parker’, star of the phenomenal stage adaptation of Life of Pi – running at The Lowry from Tue 5 Dec to Sun 7 Jan – will prowl Manchester’s streets with wildly entertaining and jaw-droppingly realistic movements, delighting families as one of the parade’s most memorable features.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Last year’s very first Manchester Christmas Parade really was the heart-warming event of the season. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done with such a brilliant festive and fun atmosphere, full of the stuff that Christmas memories are made of.

“We all know Manchester does Christmas better than anyone else and we can’t wait for this year’s parade – it’s going to be amazing and joyful, one for all the family. Santa has already said he wouldn’t miss it for all the world. Come on down and join us!

The Manchester Christmas Parade begins at 1pm and is expected to last an hour. Free to attend, the roads have been closed to traffic so that all attendees can find space to enjoy the spectacle.

Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Fri 24 Nov 2023