With preparations well underway for the annual parade (Sunday 17 June), now’s your chance to get involved…

The last Manchester Day parade spanned a Keralan deity Theyyam to a towering blue genie and a fiery Minotaur, as over 80 community groups celebrated the theme of ‘Abracadabra:’ touchingly preceded by a 22-balloon tribute to those who lost their lives in the arena attack. 

Produced by award-winning Salford arts organisation Walk the Plank, the parade is undoubtedly the event’s biggest draw and one of Manchester’s annual calendar staples. But, with over 2000 participants, it doesn’t happen by magic (as bewitching as it may appear).

Enter WoW workshops, in which professional artists collaborate with local community groups for a long month of parade preparations - transforming the Upper Campfield Market on Liverpool Road into creative flurry of artworks, costumes, props and floats.

Now, with Manchester Day 2018 fast approaching (incidentally falling on Father’s Day, Sunday 17 June), organisers are on the hunt for this year’s clutch of industrious volunteers: our Lucy Tomlinson loved the experience so why not get involved? 

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Hard at work in the WoW workshops

This year’s theme is ‘Word on the Street’ - celebrating the best of Manchester’s people, cultures and communities; as ever, the parade will also spill over into the city centre squares for a full afternoon of entertainment, food and drink. A full itinerary will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Cllr Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day, said: “The most important, the most exciting, the most creative day in Manchester’s incredible event calendar is almost up on us. The hard work starts here to create the literally thousands of pieces that bring Manchester Day to life ever year. 

“Put the date in your diary now. Manchester Day is one of those events you just can’t afford to miss. Every year we have generations of families come together to celebrate the city, and this year will no different. The countdown has begun.”

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Founded in 2010, Manchester Day now attracts over 60,000 spectators annually

Liz Pugh, Co-Founder of Walk the Plank and Manchester Day Executive Producer, said: “This is now the ninth Manchester Day that we’ve created for Manchester City Council in collaboration with the people of Manchester, and ‘collaboration’ is exactly what this whole magical process is all about.  

"The WoW workshop is the embodiment of our continuing belief that the process of co-creation and collaborative working is as important as the final big day. An amazing event like this only happens by bringing artists and community groups together to create something that really means something to them.”

Manchester Day will take place on Sunday 17 June, 12-6pm (the parade on Liverpool Road at 1pm. For more info and to get involved, visit manchesterday.co.uk