Manchester’s legendary Dragon Parade is to make its way through city centre once again this year after a two-year hiatus.
As Manchester gets ready to celebrate Chinese New Year 2023 and mark the Year of the Rabbit, the popular Dragon Parade – which is known for attracting thousands of visitors from all across the region – is to bring a spectacular show of colour back to the city centre next weekend.
Organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM), in partnership with Manchester BID and Manchester City Council, the 175ft Chinese dragon will be weaving its way through the city’s streets on Sunday 22 January.
The dragon will be joined by traditional lion and ribbon dancers, Chinese Opera performers, twelve Zodiac animals, and Ancient Army characters.
In what is a new route for 2023, the dragon will perform outside Manchester Central at 12pm, before making its journey via Mount Street, to Peter Street, Oxford Street, Portland Street, Princess Street, Faulkner Street, and finishing off in Chinatown, where there will be a whole host of other exciting events to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
There will be a live performance stage, a fun fair, Chinese arts and crafts workshops, and an authentic selection of street food stalls to make the most of in Chinatown from 12pm-7pm.
There will also be two glittering illuminated night dragon performances at 5pm and 6pm.
The Dragon Parade isn’t all we’ve got to look forward to for Chinese New Year 2023 here in Manchester though, as there’s plenty of other celebrations on the lineup for the full week too.
You may have already noticed that thousands of traditional red lanterns have appeared in trees up above to brighten the city’s streets, and on top of this, there’ll also be a week-long residency of traditional street food stalls in Piccadilly Gardens from Saturday 21 – Sunday 29 January, and a final performance from the illuminated night dragon to close this year’s festivities at 5pm on Sunday 29January in Piccadilly Gardens.
Other venues participating in celebrations this year include Manchester Central Library, which is hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration for families from 12pm-4pm on Sunday 22 January with free crafts, Chinese performances, workshops and face painting, and Ducie Street Warehouse is hosting a Chinese Brush Painting workshop from 2pm-4.30pm on Sunday 22 January too.
Dragon Parade Performance and Parade Times
12pm-12:30pm – Performance outside Manchester Central
12:30pm-1:15pm – Dragon Parade from Manchester Central to Chinatown
1:15pm – Dragon Parade arrives at Chinatown
1:15pm-1:45pm – Performances at Faulkner Street Car Park and Chinatown
“I’m very happy this year as we will welcome the return of the Dragon Parade, as it has been two years since we have been able to wake up the dragon to bless the city,” said Lisa Yam – president of the FCAM ahead of this year’s celebrations.
“The Year of the Rabbit is sure to be a great year for us all.”
Jane Sharrocks – District Chair of Manchester BID – added: “This is the eighth consecutive year we’ve partnered with the Federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester on the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations.
“We’ve adorned the city with thousands of traditional red lanterns once again for 2023 to help welcome in the Year of the Rabbit and we’re delighted see the return of the Dragon Parade which is always a real crowd pleaser and highlight of the celebrations.”
Michael Bisping announces second ‘Tales From The Octagon’ talk with Manc MMA star Tom Aspinall
UFC legend Michael Bisping is bringing back his hugely popular Tales From The Octagon conversation series and he’s bringing Manc MMA star Tom Aspinall as well as Scottish fighter Paul Craig along for the latest Manchester talk.
Following the success of his first trio of live shows back in 2021 — then marketed simply as ‘An Evening with Michael Bisping’ — the Lancashire-raised fighter has invited along the two fellow Northerners to make this latest event more of a discussion surrounding MMA’s past, present and future.
Despite being born in Cyrpus, Bisping spent most of his life not too far down the road in Clitheroe and has spent a lot of time in Manchester, including winning multiple fights at the AO Arena and even meeting his wife, so there was never any question he’d be bringing the tour back to his second home.
Hosting just two shows this time, one at London’s Indigo at the O2 and the other at the Manchester Apollo, the talk promises stories spanning years inside the Octagon as well as the 44-year-old’s time commentating cage-side since retiring back in 2018.
The second Tales From The Octagon live show will also see the special guests chipping in with plenty of their own “wonderful, hilarious” and exclusive “behind-the-scenes stories” and they provide their own take on the MMA scene at large of today.
Craig, a former light heavyweight champion and Aspinall, a Salford-born heavyweight currently ranked fourth overall in the UFC, will both be joining the expert panel across the two dates this winter, bringing their own funny anecdotes, personal stories and unique takes on their careers and the sport as a whole.
Best of all, like sitting down to watch with a mate who also happens to be a vastly knowledgeable fight fan, Bisping style on stage draws both casual and new fans with the open, informal style, whilst still making sure to entertain the hardcore followers of the sport.
With Aspinall being not only a local lad but one of the UFC rising stars and next in line for a heavyweight, we’re also looking forward to hearing his thoughts on how fast-growing career. Here is Bisping speaking on just how excited he is by the 30-year-old fighter:
Speaking ahead of the two new shows, Bisping said: “The last tour in the UK was epic, I was overwhelmed by the turnout and reaction of my fans old and new. I can’t wait to come back later this year with a new show and with Tom and Paul in tow.”
Given the popularity of these three and the fact the previous tour went down a treat, it’s fair to say seats to sit in on this conversation are going to go fast.
Now branching into acting, running a successful podcast and YouTube channel, not to mention a Sunday Times and Amazon Best Seller thanks to his 2019 autobiography, Quitters Never Wins, you’re getting a real value-for-money showing.
The Tales From The Octagon 2 talk in Manchester takes place on 16 December; tickets start from just £28.50 and you can secure yours HERE.
Looking for people to play board games with? This is the place to go. It was voted the UK’s favourite board game store in 2019.
You can join D&D and Warhammer games or just nip in for a browse, just try not to end up spending copious amounts of money on a new Warhammer army.
This gigantic shopping emporium is the home of all things alt, but there are also plenty of shops inside to get your geek on.
Here are just a few standouts. There’s Card Empire specialising in Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon Cards. The Animaid Cafe for lovers of all things kawaii. And we couldn’t forget Star Wars Man on the third floor with his huge collection of nostalgic TV and film collectables.
Now if you’re looking to play instead of buy, the next three will be right up your street. Starting with NQ64, specifically the massive new site in the Northern Quarter.
They’ve got loads of classic arcade machines, themed cocktails and grub for when you get the mid-gaming munchies. We highly recommend playing Ice Cold Beer and beating our high score of 7 (trust us it’s hard).
Fancy something less retro and more modern? Try Pixel Bar, which is open past midnight every day.
If you want to grab some mates and have a couple of drinks while you crush them on games like Smash, Fifa or Tony Hawk, this is the place to be.
Bury Arcade Club
This place is the Mecca of all things arcade. It’s a multi-level video arcade featuring classic and modern games.
The best thing about it is you pay one standard fee (under £20) and you get to play everything inside for free and as much as you want.
The downside is Bury is a bit of a trek from the city centre and you’ll probably have to drive to get there.