Manchester’s iconic shopping and dining destination King Street is hosting its annual festival this Saturday and Sunday. The place will be transformed with gardens and market stalls, and there will be special events taking place at many of the high-end shops. There’s tonnes going on, including in-store promotions, live music, alfresco dining, and drinks tastings. Five of the best activities are listed below…
Manchester Flower Show
A major part of the Festival, the Flower Show all but takes over the Upper Street. You’ll find pocket gardens everywhere, and floral displays in store windows and balconies. Standouts include a tropically themed chillout garden where you can take the weight off your feat amid palm trees. Real Food Wythenshawe will present a garden themed like a retro boudoir, where plants cascade around a floral bed upholstered in edible flowers. Slate and Grey will present a red-carpet show featuring models kitted out in floral gowns… literally.
£5 Cocktail Trail
The Street, of course, is famous for its bars and restaurants, and most are taking part in this trail and presenting one special cocktail for only a fiver. At El Gato Negro, you can get a Sangria Bianco; and at Tast, the Guernica (Gin Mare infused with grapes, lemongrass, and even seaweed) is the drink of choice. You’ll also find a special pop-up gin bar, courtesy of I Love MCR, serving a Peanut Butter and Jam Flip. Other venues away from King Street are also joining in, including Chaopraya and the Chop Houses.
There’s plenty for families to do throughout the weekend. Author Margit van der Zwan will be reading from her newly published book ‘Gordon and the Flying Piano’. Jam-packed with audience participation, you can sing along with your little ones. Visitors can also get competitive with free lawn games, including giant chess, Jenga, and Connect Four and for older kids, there’s Hangman – a life-size version of the pen and paper game, reimagined as a macabre 70s gameshow. Guess the mystery words to win, but if you lose then someone’s going to swing.
Manchester Histories will present a ‘Soapbox’ where activists, storytellers, and generally opinionated people will take to the stage. Comperes will guide audiences through a mix of performance, poetry, and polemic. You can make your own feelings heard too, during hour-long open mic sessions. The main topic will be the Peterloo Massacre, which took place 200 years ago this summer. There are also special guided Peterloo walks, where you visit the locations and hear all about the events of the day that changed the course of British political history.
Market Stalls and Food Vendors
Many boutique sellers will be lining the street, peddling their artisan wares. In keeping with the agricultural theme, traders Flourish and Nonsense will be there with houseplants, pots, and cut flowers. Sasha Ray will present colourful and contemporary photomontage artworks. Her ‘Unbreakable Bee’ collection celebrates the city’s symbol in unique style. Booze and Burn take ‘pre-loved’ drink bottles and cans, and turn them into scented soy candles. For refreshments, Rapha’s Coffee will be on hand with food and drink served from a vintage Citroen van.
King Street Festival, King Street, Manchester, Sat 01 Jun & Sun 02 Jun, Free, www.visitmanchester.com/king-street-festival
Published on: Sun 31 Mar 2019