Manchester Day Parade celebrates city life with giant puppets and steel drums

By Daniel Golding

A giant Gulliver puppet is just one of the attractions in the Manchester Day Parade which is set to hit the city centre on Sunday at 2-4pm.

The event will feature displays from around 2,300 individuals and 96 groups in nine large sections, and each based around the theme ‘Journey of Discovery’.

Starting and finishing on Liverpool Street, the mile-long parade is produced by internationally acclaimed artist group Walk the Plank.

“It’s given everyone involved something to aim for,” producer Liz Pugh, Walk the Plank, said. “It has been a mammoth undertaking.”

They will be joined by a steel orchestra, giant Manchester music icon puppets, and costume displays from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service among others.

Liz said: “It’s about trying to find a theme that is useful to groups that want to build on creating something around an idea, and also to cover all aspects of the city and its life.”

There will also be a bake-off in St Ann’s Square to showcase traders’ baking skills and a photo competition with a high-tech camera as a first prize.

Tired celebrators can let their hair down and watch the Manchester Day Parade Award ceremonies at the Post Parade Party in Albert Square, 3:30-6pm.

The event has drawn some high-profile sponsors including Siemens, the Co-Operative, Laing O’Rourke, Lend Leese and Wates.

Manchester Day started last year to celebrate the city’s life and history. This year’s theme was partly inspired by the anniversary of Bridgewater Canal’s opening in 1761.

Councillor Mark Amesbury, executive member for culture and leisure at Manchester City Council, said: “This year’s parade will not just be another world-class event but one which will be bigger and better. This celebration is a great day out for all the family and generates massive economic benefit for city centre businesses.”

To find out more, call the Events Unit on 0161 234 5200.

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