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See Life of Pi's 'Richard Parker' in Manchester City Centre's Christmas Parade on Sunday 3 December

Manchester’s Christmas Parade is back on Sunday 3 December – with a special appearance by Life of Pi’s ‘Richard Parker’

Following a fabulous festive first last year for Manchester that saw the city’s first ever Christmas parade take place, the memory-making Manchester Christmas Parade is back again this year, with the countdown now on to the unmissable 3rd December event.

Filled with all the sights, sounds and sparkle that spell Christmas, the magical parade – plus an appearance from a very special guest – is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face and to bring some extra special Christmas cheer to the city as the festive season gets well underway.

Bigger and even better than last year with over 400 participants, the parade will weave its way through the city streets, starting at 1 pm from Manchester Cathedral and taking in Deansgate, St Ann’s Street, Cross Street, Corporation Street and Fennel Street, where the parade will end.

Think Snow Queens, Bouncing Elves and sparkling Christmas Glitter Belles, with an extra sprinkle of Candy Cane stilt walkers, Giant Nutcracker characters and Dancing Snowmen, all taking to the city streets alongside Reindeer, Owls and Festive Dinosaurs, as well as everyone’s Christmas dinner favourite Dancing Sprouts – and suddenly once again it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Of course, no Christmas parade would be complete without the big red man himself and we’re on a promise from Santa Claus that he will definitely be taking some time out from his busy toy-making schedule to come to his favourite Christmas city and join in.

And making sure it’s jingle bells all the way with live music, moves, and sounds will be the Global Grooves Nutcracker Bloco Band playing Santa’s favourite Christmas songs to get everyone in the festive mood, along with dancers dressed in their sparkly best Christmas kit.

Adding to the festive fun this year’s parade also features local school children who have taken part in ‘make and move’ workshop sessions to design and create some incredible parade-worthy Christmas trees and stars to show off in the parade using all the moves they’ve learned.

An extra special treat has also been lined up as part of the parade in collaboration with The Lowry and will see a special appearance from the star of the hit play Life of Pi which is at The Lowry from December 5th 2023 to January 7th 2024.Based on one of the best-loved works of fiction – winner of the Man Booker Prize, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide – Life of Pi is a breath-taking new theatrical adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope.

After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a single lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a sixteen year-old boy and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?

Families won’t want to miss catching a glimpse during the parade of ‘Richard Parker’, the life-size Bengal Tiger puppet featured in the show who will be appearing in the Manchester Christmas Parade, ahead of Life of Pi’s arrival at the theatre for the festive season.

The Manchester Christmas Parade is expected to last up to an hour from start to finish.  There will be an accessible viewing point for anyone who needs it outside Boots on Cross Street – with spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “Last year’s very first Manchester Christmas Parade really was the heart-warming event of the season.  It was one of the best things we’ve ever done with such a brilliant festive and fun atmosphere, full of the stuff that Christmas memories are made of.

“We all know Manchester does Christmas better than anyone else and we can’t wait for this year’s parade – it’s going to be amazing and joyful, one for all the family.  Santa has already said he wouldn’t miss it for all the world.  Come on down and join us!”