Manchester City Council has announced that some large seasonal public celebrations including the Christmas Lights Switch-on will be cancelled owing to risks posed by Covid-19.
Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve displays will also be cancelled, although some events are still scheduled to go ahead.
Christmas lights will still be in the city centre, and the giant Santa will return, along with a trail of light sculptures through the city.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Covid means that Christmas will be different this year, but we are working hard towards celebrating the festive season as safely as possible.”
The Skate Manchester ice rink in Cathedral Gardens will go ahead but with entry limitations to ensure social distancing, tickets can be purchased here.
Additionally, Lightopia, an award-winning lantern and light festival, in Heaton Park is scheduled for November-January and tickets are already on sale.
Manchester’s Christmas Market remains under review to ensure that the event can adhere to Covid-19 regulations and keep visitors safe.
Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said that he understood cancelling annual events will come as a blow to many people.
He said: “We do not take these decisions lightly and we have been working with events organisers throughout the year to either postpone or take online where possible.
“Public safety must be at the front and centre of everything we do – and where events can go ahead, they will do so inline with covid guidelines designed to keep visitors as safe.”
All events which are still scheduled to run are subject to change according to local guidelines, and further detail will be released in the coming weeks.