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Manc icons to be turned into trail of stunning floral installations lining city centre streets

Manchester will soon bloom into life.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 6th May 2024

Caroline Aherne and Emmeline Pankhurst are among the ‘Manchester Icons’ set to turned into floral installations for a new trail that’ll line the city centre streets.

In case you missed it, it was announced back in January that Manchester is all set to become one of the most picturesque places in the UK once again this summer, and that’s because the city will be getting dressed up in celebration of the annual Flower Festival – which is back by popular demand for its seventh year.

The four-day festival – which is organised annually by Manchester BID and CityCo, and is often dubbed the “most Instagramable event of the year” – always sees Manchester bloom to life, with plants and flowers covering landmark buildings, shop windows, doorways, balconies, statues, fountains, and more right across the city centre.

This year’s Festival will take place over the late May bank holiday weekend from Friday 24 – Monday 27 May 2024.

And now, the theme for this year’s floral trail has now been revealed by the Festival’s organisers.


‘Manchester Icons’ is the name and theme of this year’s trail – which is always one of the most popular events at the Festival each year – and visitors are being told they can expect to see 10 glorious displays inspired by Manchester-born figures, music icons, and even legendary buildings.

All the installations in the trail are created by local artists, gardeners, and flower enthusiasts.


The late Manc actress Caroline Aherne, Manchester suffragette icon Emmeline Pankhurst, Girls Aloud and Stockport-raised band member, the late Sarah Harding, and local singing legend Rowetta are among the ‘icons’ who will be turned into floral art pieces, alongside other famous sites such as Gnome Island, the Hacienda, and Boddington’s brewery.

King Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, the Corn Exchange, and Manchester Arndale are just a few of the sites the installations will call home in a couple of weeks time.

The names and locations of the 10 installations are:

  1. ‘What first attracted you to the comedian Caroline Aherne?’ – New Cathedral Street
  2. ‘The Girls Aloud Tribute Garden’ – St Ann’s Square
  3. ‘Emmeline’s Town Hall’ – On the corner of King Street and Cross Street
  4. ‘Queen Bee Rowetta’ – The Royal Exchange
  5. ‘Gnome Island’ – King Street
  6. ‘The Second Summer of Love’ – Manchester Arndale
  7. ‘Boddingtons Blooms’ – Corn Exchange
  8. ‘The Iconic Hive’ – New Cathedral Street
  9. ‘This is Manchester’ – St Ann’s Square
  10. ‘The Hacienda Gardens’ – On the corner of King Street and Deansgate

Alongside the headline floral trail, organisers say this year’a Manchester Flower Festival is also set to bring “fun and frivolity” to the city’s streets – with a cocktail trail, al-fresco dining, live music, lots of family entertainment, floral workshops, arts and crafts markets, and so much more.

Read more:

Manchester Flower Festival 2024 is free for all to attend from Friday 24 – Monday 27 May, and you can find out more about the floral trail and everything else happening across the four days here.

Featured Image – Carl Sudonik (via Manchester BID)