After a two-year absence, Manchester Day is back for 2022 and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
The countdown is officially on for the celebration of Manchester, its people, and of all things Mancunian.
It will take place this year on Sunday 19 June, heralding the return of the vibrant Manchester Day Parade, which will return to weave its way through the city’s streets once again.
Back for its first outing since 2019, the spotlight for this year’s big return of the city’s much-loved free event will be dedicated to Manchester’s children and young people, who Councillor Pat Karney said: “have missed out on so much during the pandemic.”
“It’s been a really tough couple of years for them, and we’re determined to help them smile again and have some fun.”
As the celebration of the city returns for 2022, revellers will delight in a kaleidoscope of colour, sound and culture as youth and community groups from across the city join the famous parade, which has become the highlight of the day.
As always, music and dance will also spill over into the city centre squares for an afternoon of family entertainment, food and drink – with more details revealed in the coming weeks.
Anyone can be part of Manchester Day, and the callout is now on for youth groups, community groups, volunteers, and anyone else who wants to take part to reach out to organisers.
There are lots of different ways people can get involved – be that working with a professional artist to turn their creative idea into a creation for the parade or bringing their own colourful costumes or traditional cultural dress to dance, strut or style their way along the streets as part of the parade.
People can also join a pop-up workshop and work with others to make something spectacular, or get involved in volunteering opportunities, both on the day and in the lead up to the event.
Councillor Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “What a long three years it has been! We never dreamt as the sun set on Manchester Day in 2019 that it would be another three years before we would be able to get together and celebrate our wonderful city again.
“Absence really does make the heart grow fonder though and we’ve already had a fantastic response to our call-out for community and youth groups to get involved.
“The return of Manchester Day is a chance for everyone to show the world what Manchester is made of and celebrate kicking Covid good-bye in true Mancunian style.
“I cannot wait!”
The huge task of creating all the amazing artworks, costumes, and props for what promises to be a spectacular return to the streets for the Manchester Day Parade begins now, and will once again be overseen by the award-winning local arts organisation, Walk the Plank.
Hundreds of participants and volunteers from local communities will spend the next few months working with local artists to help bring Manchester Day to life.
Liz Pugh, Creative Producer of Walk the Plank, said: “We’re particularly excited to see how children and young people want to shape the future of the city, and how that might be reflected in the sections of the Parade.
“We know the impact of climate change is a big issue for them, and that will feature in some of the floats. And there’s always great dance from some of the street crews, along with some of Manchester’s best loved music.”
Manchester Day also strives to limit its carbon footprint and impact on the planet. Sustainability is key to the event, which aims to be as green as it can by recycling materials as much as possible, limiting waste and training participating teams in an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities.
Fossil-fuelled vehicles are banned from the parade, which instead harnesses people power and embraces structures that can be pushed, pulled, wheeled, or walked.
Councillor Pat Karney said: “It’s fantastic to be bringing Manchester Day back to the city’s streets again and this year we’re determined to make sure the event is greener than ever as the city works hard towards becoming zero carbon by 2038.
“We’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure the day plays its part in this and to help ensure generations of children and young people will still be able to celebrate Manchester Day many years from now.”
The callout for any youth or community groups who want to take part in the parade and workshops closes on 11 February.
To express an interest in taking part or for more information on how to get involved in MTo express an interest in taking part or for more information on how to get involved in Manchester Day this year, visit the Manchester Day website here.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”