Christmas has officially arrived in Manchester, as the city’s First Day of Christmas celebrations take over this coming Saturday 13th November.
More than 50 performers will line the city’s streets to mark the occasion, including appearances from stilt-walking reindeers, ice queens and living lamp posts.
There’ll also be a festive soundtrack provided by the Bloco Brass Band and spectacular performances courtesy of the traveling Winter Circus.
A piece of Scandinavian magic will arrive at Exchange Square, where visitors can meet the beautiful puppet Aurora and her Arctic Fox, while the Royal Exchange will provide a passage to Narnia.
Along with all that, a life-size snow globe queen will entertain crowds on St Ann’s Square and families can help the penguin family and Crumpet the Elf as they try to find their way back to the North Pole.
As evening falls, The SPARK! Band will bring things to a close with their one-of-a-kind light-up Christmas music show.
The long list of seasonal events will be taking place across Exchange Square, Market Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Cross Street and Deansgate right throughout Saturday. All performances are free of charge, and proceedings get underway from 12pm through to 7pm.
This week also marks the return of Manchester’s world-famous Christmas markets, which open this Friday (12th November). This year marks a big change for the annual pop-up, in the absence of the usual Albert Square setup due to ongoing work on the Town Hall, Piccadilly Gardens will take centre stage in the form of a new winter garden.
The new location will run slightly longer than usual, staying with us throughout the festive period and into the new year, closing on Monday 3rd January. The wider markets will still close on their usual date of 22nd December.