In amongst all of the dodgy characters, this week has seen a gaggle of builders and blokes in high-viz jackets drilling, hammering and eating bacon butties down on Piccadilly Gardens, constructing what looks like a huge Christmas Markets-syle beer garden.
Taking over both sides of the middle ‘bridge’, on the fountains, is a massive wood structure, which will be home to an Irish Festival this weekend, kicking off on Thursday 17th (St Patrick’s Day) and finishing on Sunday 20th March.
It’ll feature a weekend full of Irish dancers and live music, alongside bars which will be serving all of your favourite Irish drinks – from pints and pints of Guinness, to Irish Coffees and whiskey.
The whole festival is FREE to attend and will be taking place in the gardens from 12pm until 7pm from Thursday.
Councillor Pat Karney, city centre lead for Manchester City Council, said:
“We all know that if you can’t be in the Emerald Isle itself then Manchester is the next best place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.”
“We also know that one day alone isn’t nearly long enough to celebrate all that’s great about Ireland and its unique cultural heritage of music and dance – which is why we’ve put together the weekender event to share the love over four days and give everyone a chance to enjoy the craic.”
“It’s brilliant to see so many people already coming back into the city centre to enjoy what it has to offer, and the Manchester Irish Weekender gives another good reason to come into town. It’s going to be fantastic, so find a shamrock, wear something green, and come on down!”