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Manchester set to go wild with royal wedding celebrations

By Helen Le Caplain

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s upcoming nuptials will see many Mancunians having a right royal knees-up this Friday.

Organisers will be breaking out the bunting on April 29 for traditional street parties, while others will be hosting alternative celebrations.

Manchester City Council has granted 24 street party requests so far, however the total may rise as it is accepting last minute applications.

Chris Gittens, Director of Streets Alive, said that all the street parties, to some degree, are because of the royal wedding, whether they are celebrating the event or not.

He said: “There are a mixed range of views regarding the wedding.

“There are the royal flag-wavers, anti-royals, those in the middle, some who don’t give a toss, and others who are looking at it from a celebrity angle wanting to know about her dress.

“We’ve got no particular angle. We need excuses to come together, and the wedding is as good an excuse as any.”

The Northern Quarter Street Party, on Edge Street, is offering a distinctly alternative 1940s-style take on the day.

Arts and events manager Carole Keating came up with the idea of hosting a street party celebrating Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

She tweeted: “Alright Manchester. A street party in the Northern Quarter. Who’d be up for this?”

The response was massive, and saw the dedicated Facebook page attract over 500 fans in just 24 hours and start trending on Twitter in Manchester.

In reaction to the overwhelming attention, she added: “Seems Mancunians bloody love a party!”

Party-goers will be decked out in their 40s-themed finery and will celebrate with bunting, punch and cake.

The event will include craft workshops, traditional party games, jam-making, treasure hunts and swing dance lessons.

Local cafes and businesses will set up stalls offering party food, cake, chocolate, vintage items and arts and crafts.

Carole said: “The aim is for the event to speak to and showcase the existing community, but be accessible enough to attract a more diverse crowd including families and harder to reach communities on the outskirts of Manchester.”

Councillor Jim Battle, deputy leader of the council, said:  “Manchester people certainly know how to have a good time and any event that helps to bring people together can only be a good thing.”

Other events in Manchester city centre include Republic’s ‘Not the Royal Wedding’ party at the Salutation pub, off Oxford Road.

The pressure group, which campaigns to replace the monarchy with an elected head of state, invites republicans to “celebrate people power, rather than inherited privilege.”

Regardless of the intention behind these events, the enduring popularity of street parties shows that community spirit is very much alive in Manchester.

For more information about the Northern Quarter Street Party, contact Carole Keating, 07946 191 073 or visit http://www.northernquarterstreetparty.co.uk/

For more information about the Republic event, contact Mervyn Drage, 0161 684 7733 or visit http://www.republic.org.uk/What%20we%20do/Republic%20Campaigns/Royal%20wedding/uk.php

Related royal wedding stories:

The £10 Challenge – Royal Wedding weirdness

Manchester Arndale create ‘plastic bottle’ dress in honour of royal wedding

Manchester biscuit factory to make royal wedding cake



 

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