Tens of thousands of people gathered to watch Sunday’s parade, headlined by a giant polar bear and a smoke belching tiger
Now in its ninth year, Manchester Day showed just why it remains one of the city’s annual highlights yesterday.
Tens of thousands lined the streets to watch the show-stopping parade, which featured over 80 community groups and the usual dazzling array of costume and performance.
Setting the scene for this year’s ‘word on the street’ theme, the lead float reflected our need to protect the planet with rising seas, a giant sun and a polar bear stranded on a melting ice cap. Manchester Young Lives continued the timely issue, with a giant octopus and other sea creatures floating in a sea of plastic waste.
Protest and poetry were other key topics, from the Suffragette banners of the Pankhurst Centre to Manchester School of Samba’s show inspired by poet Lemn Sissay’s Invisible Kisses - one of many multicultural appearances spanning Filipino to Mexican and South Indian.
Children loved the scary green boggart, created with the Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project, and crowds were treated to post-parade performances throughout the afternoon, across the city squares. Performances included Heavy Beats, who worked with New Orleans musician Keith Frazier to develop their street sounds; RNCM student bands and #We Stand Together’s giant 3D crossword.
Commissioned by Manchester City Council, and produced by local outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, Manchester Day has evolved into so much more than a parade. It’s a celebration of inclusivity, collaboration and a proud testament to multicultural Manchester - attracting guests and participants from across the world.
Liz Pugh, Producer, Walk the Plank, said: “So much hard work goes into the parade with many thousands of hours of gluing, painting, sewing, dancing and rehearsing in community centres across the city in the weeks beforehand.
"We are so grateful to all the participants and volunteers as well as the artists and council team who make this wonderful free event so magical. We’re already excited about the tenth anniversary parade, in 2019, and we would love to hear people’s ideas for the theme next year.”
Below are some of our favourite pictures from the Manchester Day 2018. Have a great snap yourself? There’s still time to enter the competition…
All photos: Mark Waugh