Thousands flocked to city centre for Manchester’s first ever Christmas Parade

The festive event has been dubbed a "brilliant success".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 12th December 2022

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.  

Thousands flocked to city centre for Manchester’s first ever Christmas Parade / Credit: Manchester City Council

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’.

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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