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Manchester Day Parade.... Out of this World?

Lauren Murphy on the day that will make us PROUD, yes in capitals, PROUD. Skitting aside we like this idea lots

Published on February 24th 2010.

Manchester Day Parade.... Out of this World?

Manchester's parading tradition is set to be continued with our very own Manchester Day Parade, commissioned by Manchester City Council to take place on Sunday 20 June 2010. The parade is being produced by arts organisation Walk The Plank, who are renowned for their spectacular outdoor installations. The intention is to represent all areas of Mancunian society, whilst creating a carnival atmosphere throughout the city.

The Manchester Day parade has been given the theme 'Out Of This World' which Walk The Plank hope will be open to a variety of interpretations; it could manifest itself cosmically, in reference to Rutherford's atom-splitting discovery in Manchester, or a mention of the Chinese Year of the Tiger to remind us of the endangered species which are rapidly going 'out of this world'

Community demand has apparently inspired the idea for an event of this sort to celebrate Mancunian culture and pride, in a form that is arguably more accessible than events provided by, for example, the Manchester International Festival. The council hope this parade, made by and for local communities, will provide an opportunity for people to celebrate the legacy of their Mancunian heroes, what they love about Manchester today and for Mancunian pride to resonate on the streets and into the future.

Walk the Plank's Liz Pugh, Cllr Mike Amesbury, and some aliens. Out of this World you see.

Producers of the parade, Walk The Plank, carried out a feasibility study which revealed that there is a great appetite in the city for an event to focus on throughout the year; they therefore hope that this could become a large-scale annual event. Many community groups have already expressed interest in taking part and making this a community-led event (including Friends of Platt Fields, Peace FM, Young At Heart and The Hindu Association): the producers hope that local businesses will get involved too and will help to animate other parts of the city along the parade route.

The presentation

The Manchester Day parade has been given the theme 'Out Of This World' which Walk The Plank hope will be open to a variety of interpretations; it could manifest itself cosmically, in reference to Rutherford's atom-splitting discovery in Manchester, or a mention of the Chinese Year of the Tiger to remind us of the endangered species which are rapidly going 'out of this world', or Manchester's Tree Wardens could turn our attention to the abundance of things we get from 'out of this world', from the ground beneath our Mancunian feet. Participants being encouraged to make it a largely pedal-powered affair.

According to the council, the Manchester Day Parade intends to incorporate people from all over the city and even hopes to attract people from other cities nearby. Such widespread attraction in this, its first year, might seem doubtful, but they are envisioning an event which will grow.

Regardless of heritage, you become, in some part, Mancunian when you choose to live and work in this city; so, for now, the council are hoping that the parade will at least inspire local support from everyone who lives in Manchester, with a strong sense of ownership and dashes of Mancunian humour and pride.

Whether the Manchester Day Parade can hope to emulate the spirit and attraction of either the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York (which is three hours long and now in its 86th year) or the Notting Hill Carnival in London (which spans 20 miles and is now in its 44th year) remains to be seen - but given that the planned route is 1.5 miles and this is only its 1st year, this might seem a distant ambition.

However, the council are confident that Manchester's superb record of delivery and its rich culture in music, art and sport, combined with the production of one of the UK's leading arts companies, will result in an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive Manchester Day Parade, with an unprecedented communal sense of celebration.

Click here for more info and to enter your own parade idea.

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CASFebruary 24th 2010.

The only way this will take off properly, and not end up like some oversized school project, is to have it led by businesses. The Thanksgiving Parade in NYC is very commercial and as such mountains of cash is thrown at it and the best people work on it to make sure it's a success. There are lots of mega businesses either based in our city or with big presence here so that's the way to go about it. If it's largely 'community based' it will seem amateur, not have the desired tourism impact and be a bit embarassing. Smaller businesses and community projects could still be involved but the money gained from larger corporations would allow the event to be framed with professionalism. Could be great though.

JJFebruary 24th 2010.

Cas. I agree with a small part of what you say, but only a small part. Far too often in the UK business involvement in a parade consists of their paying for a lorry, some T-shirts and a few balloons. A pile of young people who work for the business stand on the lorry wearing the T-shirts and waving at the crowd while jumping about to repetitive over-played commercial music. I'd rather watch adverts on telly. Thankfully MIF's Procession last year had none of that. Seeing the term 'community-based' I'm assuming that there'll be plenty of artistic ideas stemming from amateur and professional artists rooted in local communities. We used to have some great parades when Manchester International
Arts ran Streets Ahead. Can we see more of that sort of thing please? And some live music please.

JJFebruary 24th 2010.

And if you want to check out the website you need to type 'the' before 'manchester', otherwise you get a link to something about dogging. Not sure that's what's wanted on Deansgate on a Saturday afternoon.

Michele HartFebruary 25th 2010.

Community led events and parades can be fantastically creative. Check out my cousin's work in Birmingham http://www.offourtrolley.com/id1.html
Am sure he'd travel if anyone wanted to hire his services (blatant plug I know but click the link - truly spectacular and all based around the environmentally friendly, accessible shopping trolley!)

Leigh ScottFebruary 25th 2010.

I like the idea, seems like a small window of opportunity though with it being just 16 weeks away?On a separate note Mancon,what happened to the charity ideas people were asked to send in at the back end of last year?

Drew WalshFebruary 25th 2010.

Brilliant that this is catching everybody's imagination and so many positive suggestions. Great to see people in healthy argument about what's best.
One exception is the Liberal Democrats who still want a vote to abandon it. Out of touch and out on a limb. Look at LibDem Stockport then look at Manchester!

Simon McDonaldFebruary 25th 2010.

Can't wait to see how the more obnoxious half of the canal street regulars will hijack this one. =p

Smyth HarperFebruary 25th 2010.

I agree that community groups can do some great stuff, but I don't think the plan is to exclude business if they want to participate. Scoteee - this is only year one, the idea is it will be an annual event. From small acorns and all that...

CASFebruary 25th 2010.

It would be quite easy to police as regards to businesses to prevent the staff in t-shirts issue. Several top business and organisations who the council feels represent Manchester, such as Co-op, the new national football museum, the MEN arena, M&S, Lowry & Radisson hotels, the BBC etc etc etc would be invited to present their ideas for their participation. If it sounds great they get to do it for free, if not we're sorry and better luck next year. Community floats are more enjoyed by the participants and their circles, I know I've done it, than the wider public. I thought the council wanted this to be an event aspiring to Thanksgiving Day parade levels, that certainly isn't based on community floats.

somapopsFebruary 25th 2010.

I'm partially geared towards thinking this might end up a damp squib - the Chinese New Year and a fair few other parades are average at best....but...if carried out with enough of the right mancunian potions then it could potentially be a (another) wonderful advert for the city. God will no doubt be in the detail otherwise it's just one of many such events and will dither back to whence it came. I do hope we have some of those giant cartoon character balloons mind - and Chorlton & the Wheelies simply must be represented here. There's a whole host of opportunities if you start to think about it and then watch it grow...

NortherngeezerFebruary 25th 2010.

Barmiest idea i've ever read, yer'll be suggesting the scousers do something similar next.

AnonymousMarch 5th 2010.

Cas if the commercial people want a parade why are they not organising one? Just give CityCo and Manchester Marketing a ring and wave some large notes!

Smyth HarperMarch 5th 2010.

I like the idea of a tickertape parade with £50 notes. Cas, you're a successful businesslady - could you stump up the readies? ;-)

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