Roaming puppets, supersized penguins, and illuminated bands will be taking to Manchester’s main shopping streets in the run-up to Christmas as part of the city’s brand-new Festive Sundays programme.
The events will create a fun and festive atmosphere for those doing Christmas shopping and enjoying Manchester’s bars and restaurants, or visiting the city’s famous Christmas Markets.
Commissioned and produced by Manchester Business Improvement District on behalf of the city centre’s leading retailers and hospitality venues, and in partnership with the city council, Festive Sundays will run every Sunday from 13 November – 18 December.
The first two Sundays (13 & 20 November) will see an array of themed roaming performances around the central retail district, including a roaming Snow Globe, Living Lampposts, Mirror Men, Snow Fox Stilt Walkers, Penguins, Crumpet the Elf, Fat Cat Brass Band – and Spark! light-up band, combining LED lighting with beautiful costumes, choreography, and high impact drumming.
Sunday 13th November, 1pm – 7pm
Sunday 20th November, 12pm – 7pm
Manchester Arndale, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street and Deansgate
On the middle Sundays (27 November & 4 December) families can enjoy an illuminating early evening, with enchanting Ghost Caribou – a night-time street act with giant creatures, part caribou, part human who tell their story through music, song, and shadow – and the Spark! light-up band will be back.
Sunday 27th November, 4-7-pm
Sunday 4th, December, 4-7pm
St Ann’s Square and Deansgate
The final two Sundays (11 & 18 December) will see Christmas Crackers, Sugar Plum Fairies, Toy Soldiers and a Fairy Mouse taking to the city’s streets, with Sunday 11 December also including an extra special festive first for Manchester. Still under wraps at the moment, with more details set to be revealed very soon, a not-to-be missed city centre Christmas treat for everyone is promised.
Sunday 11th December, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm
Manchester Arndale, Market Street, St Mary’s Gate, Deansgate, St Ann’s, Cross Street
Sunday 18th December, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Manchester Arndale, Market Street
Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair and General Manager of Selfridges Exchange Square said:
“Our festive roaming performers were a such huge hit with visitors last year, that we’re delighted to be able to build on this for 2022, with six consecutive Sundays of enchanting events.
“By working collaboratively with Manchester City Council and the Christmas Markets, Manchester BID’s Festive Sundays will enhance the visitor experience to the city centre this Christmas, particularly for families, who can enjoy everything the city centre has to offer on what is traditionally a quieter day.”
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said:
“Christmas in Manchester is going to be magical this year with the city’s streets and squares stuffed full of free entertainment and things to see and do to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
“We’ve also got an extra special seasonal surprise that we’re keeping under our Christmas hats at the moment but that promises to be a spectacular festive first for Manchester. Watch this space – it’s going to be a cracker!”