Manchester is preparing for a day of remembrance this weekend to mark five years since the devastating Manchester Arena attack.
On May 22nd 2017, twenty-two innocent people lost their lives in the UK’s worst terrorist attack since the 7/7 bombings.
Today, the date stands as one of Manchester’s darkest days and, to mark five years since the tragedy, the city is preparing for a full line of up of remembrance events to remember those who lost their lives as well as those continuing to live with the disaster today.
Here is the full list of events outlined by Manchester City Council for the fifth anniversary commemoration this Sunday:
Glade of Light Memorial
The Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened by Prince William and Kate Middleton last week, will offer people a place to pay their respects.
On the white marble ‘halo’ of the memorial, the names of the twenty-two victims of the attack are engraved, while personalised ‘memory capsules’ with letters and messages written by the bereaved families are embedded beneath.
Candlelit vigils at Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral will be hosting a number of sessions throughout the day, all of which include prayers, moments of silence and candle lighting.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester will attend the 5.30pm prayers and will lay flowers on the Glade of Light afterwards on behalf of the city.
Sessions will take place at 8.45am, 10.30am and 5.30pm, while bells will ring at 10.31pm to mark the exact moment the bombing took place.
‘A Manchester Story’ at Everyman Cinema
Everyman St John’s Cinema near Spinningfields will be showing the newly released A Manchester Story, a docu-film charting the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing.
A Manchester Story, directed by Anton Arenko documents the ‘untold stories’ that happened following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The film follows a variety of stories from people across the city and beyond.
All proceeds from the screening will go to the charity We Love MCR, which raises money and awareness for causes across Greater Manchester. Get your tickets here.
Tributes at Victoria Station
Tributes will be taking place at Victoria Station below the foyer, where the attack took place five years ago.
People will be given the chance to lay flowers and sign a memory book to commemorate the day with any thoughts, feelings or memories of the event.
Moments of silence will be held at 12pm and 10.31pm, while the station announcer will read out the names of those who lost their lives. The railway chaplain will also read a number of prayers.
The Great Manchester Run
This year’s Great Manchester Run has landed on the day of the anniversary, and will include a one-minute applause at the start of each wave of the run in remembrance of the twenty-two who lost their lives in the attack.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “22nd May 2017 is one of the darkest days in this city’s history. It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since those terrible events.
“We will never forget those whose lives were so cruelly taken, or those whose lives were changed forever that day.
“But nor should we forget the remarkable spirit shown in the aftermath of the attack as the city came together in solidarity, compassion and a refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Love proved stronger.”
A Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo night where ‘cheating is encouraged’ is happening in Manchester
Get your black lipstick and Dr. Martens at the ready…
The humble game of bingo is set to undergo a head-banging makeover with the arrival of Manchester’s first ever Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo at Cooper Hall.
The concept was dreamt up by Mancunian ‘Bingo Matt’, who has spent the last few years growing and establishing Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo over in Indonesia.
And now, the musical game is coming back home to Manchester, where it will be taking over the Northern Quarter’s Cooper Hall this Friday, December 2nd.
The rules of Rock ‘N’ Roll bingo are simple; bingo-goers will have to identify and cross off artists and musicians along with the songs played by the resident DJ.
There will be a mix of rock, metal, indie, pop, soul, and rhythm and blues on the set list, and guests will be expected to get up and dance throughout the game – yep, this will be a far cry from your usual game of bingo down the local Mecca.
And for those whose music knowledge is a little rusty, the game’s number one rule states that ‘all cheating is fully encouraged’, so get your Shazam apps at the ready.
Other rules include:
- All cheating is fully encouraged!
- Five rounds of Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo will crown the victor.
- If multiple ‘Rock N Roll Bingo-ers’ win on the same round, a suitable competition will ensue to decide the winner!
- The Bingo Master is always right!
- Should one fall foul of a FALSE BINGO, an appropriate shaming will ensue.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo will be taking place this Friday, December 2nd at Cooper Hall, with doors opening at 7pm and last entry at 7:45pm.
Going forward, the event will be happening every second Friday at Cooper Hall, where you can expect ‘high-energy, musical bingo with absolutely banging tunes, a plethora of prizes and lots and lots of dancing’.
Early bird tickets are just £8 (fees excluded), so make sure to get yourself booked in for what is billed to be the greatest bingo night in the land.
Grab your tickets HERE.
Manchester’s first ever Christmas Parade is coming to town next month
Make sure you don’t miss this!
A festive first for Manchester is happening this year, with the announcement that our city is holding its first ever Christmas Parade.
The magical parade will be filled with all things Christmas, and will weave its way through the streets of the city centre to bring some extra special Christmas cheer.
Building on the success of the city’s world-famous Manchester Day Parade – which after starting small back in 2010 now regularly sees thousands of people flock to the city to watch it – the inaugural Manchester Christmas Parade will take place on Sunday December 11th.
Working in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District and outdoor art experts, including Walk the Plank, Global Grooves, Handmade Parade and others, the city’s first-ever Christmas Parade promises to delight young and old.
With well over 100 parade participants, spectators will see everything from Jacks of Frost and Fairy stilt-walkers, an Arctic Fox, and runaway Christmas Presents, to Cocky Robins, Glowing Gastropods with elf riders, and a never-before-seen Christmas Toy Procession.
Also making a special appearance in the parade will be the Town Hall Clock, wound up and looking its very festive best.
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “Nowhere else does a parade quite like Manchester and and we can’t wait to bring the first-ever, not-to-be-missed Manchester Christmas Parade to Santa’s favourite city.
“Of all the places in the world that Santa could have chosen for this magical festive first, Manchester is the obvious choice.
“It’s going to be fabulous and we can’t wait!”
Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square added: “We’re delighted to be involved in what will be Manchester’s first official Christmas Parade!
“As well as being a huge draw for families, it’s also a fantastic headline event for our programme of Festive Sundays which will see sparkling street performers including illuminated bands, roaming puppets, stilt-walkers, supersized penguins and more, take to the city’s main shopping streets for six consecutive Sundays during November and December.”
Starting at 1pm on Sunday December 11th, the Manchester Christmas Parade will head down Deansgate, St Ann’s Street, Cross Street and St Mary’s Gate.
Full details of this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets as they get into full swing
The markets are billed as ‘bigger and better’ than ever before…
With the Manchester Christmas Markets now in full swing, let’s take a look at the full list of traders and locations for this year’s festivities.
The Christmas Markets opened on November 10th, transforming Piccadilly Gardens into the Winter Gardens, with over 220 stalls open at the usual locations of Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange, and King Street.
The council also confirmed the return of the magical Manchester Christmas lights trail, which will illuminate the city centre throughout the festive season with its walk-through giant baubles, light arches and a Manchester bee.
And the iconic Big Santa has made a return to the Central Library at St. Peter’s Square, where he will be keeping an eye on all things Christmas in Manchester from his perch.
Here’s the full rundown of what to expect at this year’s Christmas Markets:
Piccadilly Gardens is once again transformed into the Winter Gardens, which the council has promised is ‘bigger and better’ than ever before.
On the food and drink side of things, the Winter Gardens is serving up the likes of pancakes, churros, cookie dough, vegan bratwursts, Korean hotdogs, pork barms, and Amsterdam Frites. There’s also be an array of winter tipples and a selection of continental and foreign ales.
There will also be dedicated weekly trial spots for new local traders as they step into winter trading and try out their wares on the Christmas Market crowds.
And brand new for this year, the Winter Gardens is hosting a giant Nordic-themed double tipi bar, fully heated, and festooned with ambient lighting, wooden benches, fake furs, and a roaring fire pit.
There will be live music and entertainment within the tipi bar most nights, making it the perfect spot to spread some Christmas cheer throughout the whole week.
St. Ann’s Square and Exchange Street
St. Ann’s Square – which is actually the original site for Manchester’s Christmas Markets – is returning with its large undercover bar providing German beers and warm cherry Gluhwein, all of which will keep Christmas revellers warm and merry throughout the winter season.
St. Ann’s Square and Exchange Street is also host to a number of local traders, including Yard and Coop with their salt and pepper chicken fries and Manc and Proud, who are serving up Mancunian themed treats, plus continental chocolates, English cheeses, and art emporiums.
A firm favourite with Christmas shoppers, Market Street is home to stalls selling a wide range of gifts from a whole host of amazing crafters and producers. Customers can get everything from tweed hats, spiced rum and Christmas decorations, to candles, jewellery, and gift sets of cheese truckles.
Home to some of the best food in Manchester, the Christmas deli stalls on King Street take foodies on a world tour of some of the best loved dishes on the planet, ranging from Italian cannelloni and arancini, Greek gyros, halloumi fries, French garlic mushrooms and even Salford Rum.
And new for 2022, middle eastern restaurant Habas is bringing its Middle Eastern menu and seating area to King Street – great for those wanting to eat their way round the world!
New Cathedral Street
New Cathedral Street boasts a range of stalls selling high-end gifts including fine-cast ornaments, old fashioned liquorice, handmade cocktails for home, and light up Christmas decorations.
There’s also a number of tasty food stalls offering everything ranging from vegan five bean chilli to New York Bagels. These can then be washed down by one of cosmopolitan Bar 3’s famous smoking cocktails.
Additionally, the famous Witch House is making its grand return to New Cathedral Street armed with its traditional steins and mouth-watering currywursts.
Market-goers will be able to warm up at the beloved Mill Exchange bar, who are bringing back their special Mancunian mulled wine.
2022 also sees the return of the famous Porky Pig’s Yorkshire Pudding Wrap, alongside stalls selling hot curries, German kebabs, gourmet Italian pizza mini pancakes and fresh fudge.
The Corn Exchange
Nestled between Manchester’s historic Corn Exchange building and Shambles Square, visitors can expect to find unique fairtrade hats and jackets, character themed hats and belts, as well as handmade pies, cupcakes and soaps.
The much-loved undercover ice rink Skate MCR opened in time for the half term and Halloween. There is live entertainment on from Thursday to Sunday each week, all the way through to New Year’s Eve.
Next to the ice rink, hot food, warm drinks, pancakes and tipples are on offer from nearby market stalls to help warm up cold hands and feet after a skate on the ice.
Councillor Pat Karney, lead councillor for Christmas at Manchester City Council, said: “Christmas is looking better than ever this year in Manchester with our world-beating Christmas markets set to open in four weeks’ time, and a whole host of other unmissable free festive treats also coming our way.
“Everyone knows that Manchester does Christmas better than anywhere else and I’ve been counting down the days to the opening of our Christmas markets again since the day they closed last year.
“We’ve got some fantastic new festive additions to the markets this year, as well as some other soon-to-be announced unmissable festive surprises which are set to get everyone in Manchester smiling in the run-up to Christmas. More announcements on this very soon – I can’t wait!”
The Christmas Markets are now open and will close on Thursday December 22nd.