Tuesday, 25 June 2019

REPORTAGE: Manchester Day - Sunday 23rd June in Manchester City Centre.


Manchester is one of the most multicultural cities in this country boasting the most amount of languages spoken in one city (and I’m not even including Manc!) According to Manchester University’s Multilingual project, there could be up to 200 language spoken by the city’s long term inhabitants and this makes for a huge spectrum of cultures to celebrate. Manchester Day does exactly that. It is a festival held in mid-June each year to celebrate this vibrant city and all of its inhabitants. It is a family event which is made for the people, by the people and celebrates all things Mancunian.

Although this was only my second time attending the event, Manchester Day is now in its tenth year and the ‘coming of age’ party celebrated the milestone birthday by utilising it as the theme of 10/10. So all costumes, banners, puppets and decorative features in the parade, celebrated this theme. Groups were represented from all corners of the city; from dance troupes, to cultural groups and disability groups.

Manchester’s iconic history was featured in several displays from the Suffragette movement to Alan Turing’s innovations and the 100th anniversary of transatlantic flight. The pop scene of the 90s and industrial cogs of industrial revolution were aplenty in the styles of the head pieces. This was indeed an event which makes you realise that this city really does have so much to be proud of.

The cultural groups were by far my favourite of the display on offer in the parade, with their colourful national costumes from as far afield as Thailand and Pakistan. Each display seemed to have outdone themselves with their design concepts and the sheer proportions of the fabulous giant puppets, which were getting close to the standard of those seen in the The Royal De Luxe spectacle seen last summer in Liverpool.

The day brought so much happiness to the city and the music was so eclectic that every taste was catered for from funk brass bands to national samba bands. Children and adults alike had a blast, dancing along to the wide and varied programme.

The parade took a slightly different route this year, due to the works taking place around Manchester Town Hall, so it started on Princess Street and moved down past the library, to Deansgate where it promenaded along towards the destination of Cathedral Square. I watched from the centre of Deansgate and the atmosphere was buzzing. I followed the end of the parade over to Cathedral Square, where the party continued with live music from students of the Royal Northern College of Music. There were thousands present for the day's entertainment and the organisers must be commended on the variety of venues, pop-up food wagons from around the world and brilliant security.

I'd thoroughly recommend this free family day out to everyone next year as it goes to show what a friendly, vibrant city Manchester truly is.

Reportage - Johanna Hassouna-Smith
on - 23/6/19

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