There’s no escaping the Christmas spirit around Manchester these days, with baubles and twinkly lights and tinsel practically bursting out of buildings all over town.
With Christmas right around the corner, local restaurants, shops, bars and hotels have wheeled out their decorations, and they’re taking it very seriously indeed.
Artistic installations are now wrapped around doorways and spilling off windowsills all over the city centre.
From Rosso’s legendary decorations to fairytale characters, there are loads of stunning displays to admire in Manchester this year.
You can watch our video tour here or keep reading for all you need to know.
And if you’re feeling festive, you can turn the whole thing into a pub crawl. Because why not.
You really need to see the Selfridges decorations in the flesh to get the full impact of the effort that’s gone in here.
Channeling a seriously disco Christmas, they’ve erected a huge gold mirrored wall around the entrance that shifts and shimmers in the wind, as well as a tree made out of felt brussels sprouts.
Grab a drink at…
Sinclair’s Oyster bar, the legendary local boozer still serving some of the cheapest pints in Manchester.
Royal Exchange Arcade
It’s not just a pretty display at the Royal Exchange this year – it’s also got a big social community impact.
Local school children and communities were invited to make decorations for the trees that line the arcade, to raise awareness and funds for Manchester’s homeless as part of the Baubles 4 Beds campaign.
Grab a drink at…
Corbieres, an underground wine bar with a great jukebox that’s been a staple of Manchester’s bar scene for as long as we can remember.
Stock Exchange Hotel
Gary Neville’s luxury hotel in the centre of Manchester, regularly voted as one of the best in the world, has a suitably lavish Christmas vibe going on.
Thousands of tiny red berries, plus pine branches sprayed gold and shimmering red baubles, have been installed around its historic entrance.
The platform splits into two areas, a bar space and a family-friendly, zero-alcohol viewing platform.
The evening will consist of DJ sets and a countdown to midnight displayed on a big screen.
In previous years, the Council has arranged a huge fireworks display, previously at the Town Hall but in more recent years at the Cathedral.
But this year they say they ‘simply cannot justify’ the expense when budgets are stretched so thin.
Instead, the council plans to use its limited resources for free community events year-round, like the recent Christmas Parade.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know that New Year’s Eve is a special night – one that everyone looks forward to – and we are all disappointed that we can’t go ahead with our usual fireworks this year.
“Unfortunately, we simply cannot justify the increasing costs of putting on a big display while also worrying about funding essential Council services.
“We believe that we should use the limited funding we have to put on free events in communities throughout the year and we look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.
And this year’s instalment was even more impressive, with a target of 16 (SIXTEEN!) cans in his sights.
Once again, what starts off as a fairly ordered and logical Twitter thread soon descends into madness, including dancing videos, puns, swearing, and plenty of typos.
Rob’s tradition, now coined ‘Boddmas’, has even drawn support from Ed Gamble this year.
And for 2022, he worked out how to set up a crowd-funded hangover recovery fund, with more than 100 people donating to get him through his Boddingtons hangover.
Highlights from this year included an impassioned rant about Declan Rice (‘a sound as f*ck geeza, heart of gold, wonderful sprit, we can’t get enough’), a break for hoisin duck pancakes, and a desperate bid for the attention of whoever manages Boddingtons’ social media channels.
The ‘official’ rules of Boddmas include sticking to a 12pm-12am window for the binge-drinking marathon, tweeting an update each time a can is opened, and ‘having fun’.
Reaching the halfway mark, Rob tweeted: “Number 8 is making me sentimental, how far we’ve come how far we have to go. It’s all the same when you’re rushing on Boddingtons.”
The typos really kicked up a notch after this, with him adding: “Feeling cockey about how fine I feel after 10… but then realised I’ve got 6 to go… Have a feeling I might be humbled in the final striaght.”
As things went on, he posted: “No13! Come at me! Like Ally McOist I’m mosit for it! I hope to have a face so red and booze bitten one day. One can only dream. We love you Ally!” – which is… definitely words.
The mental no-context celebrity mentions continued after that, including this: “Fifteen. Reckon I could beat 50 cent in a wrestling match at this point. He must be old by now no? Get rich for die wrestling the Boddingtons guy! What’s his name Curtis Jackson right? Bring it on Curtis!”
And then this morning? Rob says he ‘woke up sweating yellow’.
During the Boddmas celebrations, one person Photoshopped Rob’s head into a World Cup photo as a mark of encouragement, writing: “You are Messi and number 16 is your World Cup Final.”
Someone else said: “If you only do one thing this Boxing Day, make sure it’s watching @Robertdcopland drink a mountain of Boddington’s (16 cans). Last year’s 15 cans was utterly glorious. #BODDMAS2022”
Another person posted: “For the second year in a row i am fully emotionally invested in @Robertdcopland trying to drink 16 cans of boddingtons.”
Dozens more shared photos of themselves watching along with a can of their own in their hands.
Here’s hoping this is a tradition that never ends – and we’re looking forward to the 17 can mission in 2023.