Sunshine blessed a record-breaking Manchester Day Parade, as thousands from around the UK watched an array of floats and musicians snake through the city centre yesterday.
Prior to the 2.30pm start, hundreds of people turned out at Albert Square to enjoy the ‘seaside’ theme, which all tied in to this year’s overall premise of Wish You Were Here.
Any of those missing out will have been wishing they were, as the pre-parade build up featured a chippy and a bar in Albert Square, for the very first time, we were constantly reminded by the day’s comperes from Capital FM.
The seaside treats continued with ice cream stalls and a performance by the 500-strong Manchester ‘Sing for the Water’ choir, which included a rendition of songs including I do like to be beside the Manchester seaside.
Sponsors BT set up a penalty shoot-out competition and the quirky treats were topped off with a whole picnic…knitted from wool.
PARADE: (Clockwise from left) Ferris wheel, knitted picnic, balloon release and bike
The parade began cutting through Albert Square at around 2.30pm with its 2,000 participants made up from more than 100 charities, community and companies.
An eclectic, colourful, and loud array of floats held the gaze of the thousands in attendance as it made its way through the city.
Led by a Cyber Beast float, courtesy of sponsor BT, followed by a 10ft octopus, police drummers, salsa dancers and even a giant footballer from FC United of Manchester.
Cllr Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “Now in our fourth year and the spectacle hasn’t dropped an inch – if anything it grows bigger each year. Absolutely fantastic.
“Once again, it was lovely to see so many young people and families out on the streets today enjoying the show. It makes you so proud to see Manchester celebrated like this – a day that people will remember for the rest of their lives.”
The Manchester Women’s Institute made their way through the town, waving at crowds as each part of the parade’s six sections were introduced by the Capital FM hosts.
Craft sub-group leader of Manchester WI, Charlie Hooson-Sykes, said she thought the parade was a good way to bring together the WIs across Manchester.
“We’re growing at the rate of 500 new members a day nationally, so it was an opportunity to celebrate that,” she told MM.
“The crowd’s reaction was great with lots of support for us (barring those chaps who thought we should do their ironing and those who thought we were too young to be WI members!).
“It was our first parade and the ladies have already started discussing next year!”
SUMMER LOVIN’: WW2 veterans aboard bus, stilt walkers and more celebrations