Thousands of people made their way to the city centre yesterday for what was Manchester’s first-ever Christmas Parade.
With the festive season now officially here, crowds lined the city centre’s main shopping streets yesterday on what was one of the coldest weekends of the year for the first-ever free Christmas Parade – which brought an extra-special dose of Christmas magic, and has been dubbed a “brilliant success” by Manchester City Council.
A first for the city, and the only one of its kind in the UK, the magical parade saw more than 200 parade participants take to the streets and weave their way through the city centre in a procession filled with all the sights, sounds, and sparkle of Christmas.
Off the back of the successful return of the Manchester Day Parade earlier this year, the first-ever Christmas Parade was commissioned by Manchester City Council and ManchesterBID, and created by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank.
The parade was filled with everyone’s favourite festive things.
Led by Santa Claus himself, and a very-festive version of Manchester’s iconic Town Hall Clock, the parade saw everything from candy cane stilt walkers and runaway presents, to Christmas elves and dancing snowmen bring a smile to visitors’ faces as they interacted with the crowds, alongside some cheeky robins, a giant reindeer, arctic fox, snowy owl, Jack Frost, and an enchanting giant snow globe.
One of the highlights of the parade was a mini Christmas Toy Procession, with sugar plum fairies, toy soldiers, and a fairy mouse squeaking its way around the streets, along with the biggest Christmas Crackers you’ve ever seen.
Dancers dressed in their sparkly Christmas kit entertained crowds, and the Bloco Band also provided live music on the day playing everyone’s favourite Christmas songs to get people in the festive mood.
The Christmas Parade went down so well families and festive shoppers, that councillors are now considering whether to bring it back next year.
“It really was one of the best things we’ve ever done,” commented Councillor Pat Karney.
“What made it for me was just seeing thousands of youngsters of all ages, smiling and waving and celebrating the magic of Christmas. We already know Manchester is Santa’s favourite city, and we want all the children and young people who grow up here to know this too, and to have really great memories of Manchester at Christmas.”
This year’s Christmas Parade was a part of a series of six ‘Festive Sundays’.
Over the past few weekends now, businesses based in the city centre have been working in partnership with the Council and Manchester BID throughout the festive season to help make sure Christmas is magical in Manchester this year.
Featured Image – Manchester City Council
The Oast House confirms return of legendary Christmas tipi with twinkling lights and festive cocktails
The Oast House has confirmed that its legendary Christmas tipi draped in twinkling lights is set to return for the festive season.
And there’s really not long left to wait now before the magic arrives.
The popular Spinningfields venue’s winter tipi has played its part in brining the festive spirit to Manchester for the past 11 years now, so it’s fair to say it’s become something of an institution – and now, with the air getting nippier by the day, The Oast House has given Mancs the news they’ve been waiting for.
That’s right, The TeePee is back once again for another year, and it’s set to open for the festive season in just a couple of weeks time.
Complete with two roaring fires, twinkling fairy lights, faux fur throws, The Teepee will be made up of three tents joined together with a huge open hub, and is all sounding set to be a popular spot for locals and those who’ve finished a hard day at work during the colder months.
Set to reopen on Wednesday 11 October, and then staying open to festive revellers every day of the week throughout the winter, The Teepee is famed for its free live music, house-cooked food, and laidback warm and welcoming atmosphere.
There’ll be a mouthwatering street food menu, a selection of limited-edition winter cocktails, mulled wine, and festive hot chocolates, and, of course, a stage area set up for guests to dance the night away – with a packed lineup of live gigs all planned over the next few months.
Katsu chicken fries, Northern poutine with bone marrow gravy, Shorrock’s Lancashire cheese, chicken, or plant-based gyros, stacked burgers, hot wings, and hanging kebabs, are just some of the warming dishes you can tuck into from the street food menu.
There’ll also be a wide range of festive tipples also on offer to wash it all down with.
The TeePee reopens for 2023 on Wednesday 11 October.
The Oast House and The TeePee are then open every day 12 noon until late throughout the winter, and will continue hosting a packed roster of live musicians covering a range of genres – from pop and rock, to funk and soul, and so much more.
30% of Brits have apparently already started doing their Christmas shopping
A new survey has revealed that 30% of Brits have apparently already started doing their Christmas shopping this year.
As much as many of us find ourselves running around the shops like headless chickens on Christmas Eve in a bid to buy all those last-minute gifts we forgot, on the flip side of that, we all know a few organised people who like to get their presents bought and wrapped well in advance so they can enjoy a relatively stress-free festive season.
But is September just a bit too early to start? Apparently not for three in 10 Brits.
According to a new survey by American Express – of which some 2,000 people nationwide took part – a surprising 30% of adults who celebrate or shop for Christmas in the UK have already started buying things for the festive period.
Presents for others were the most-common items already in the basket, but while gifts may be the obvious one, that’s not all.
As well as this, some have also admitted to grabbing things like wrapping paper and gift bags, Christmas cards, and decorations too.
Not only that, but as festive food and drink becomes a more common occurrence on shop shelves nationwide, and with many of the UK’s leading supermarket chains having already released their Christmas menu offerings this year, a good chunk of the survey respondents have also owned-up to buying themed snacks with long sell-by dates.
Nearly four-fifths (79%) also say they feel it’s important to support local businesses when doing their shopping for the festive season.
And when it comes to money, among those survey respondents who have started their seasonal spending, it was revealed that they have already spent an average of £94 on gifts, but closer to £110 when taking into account everything else they’ve bought.
Speaking on the survey results, Andrei Ciripitca – who is the Vice President at American Express – called the festive period “an important time for businesses and shoppers alike”.