I was ridiculously joyful at this year’s Manchester Day Parade. Led by the Lord Mayor June Hitchen and Lord Mayor’s Consort Carmine Grimshaw, their elation set the procession off with a rocking start.

This year’s premise was ‘the word on the street’. Manchester was celebrated in all its diverse and eclectic glory by waves and cheers from the thousands who turned out along the route. Organisations and services parading included Oldham Theatre Workshop, Greater Manchester Fire Service, Hulme Redbricks Association, British Pakistani Cultural Committee, Greater Manchester Secondary PRU and a vast array of peoples, charities and groups, all paired up with other artists by Walk The Plank to work on their fabulous entries.

The parade was dizzyingly random and quite right, too, as us onlookers were afforded the opportunity to hail those who work hard to recognise and rejoice in the city’s history, need and nurturing. When Manchester is damaged or dissed it comes back mob-handed with a wealth of love. Of course, we all love the drums and dancing, but the greatest ovations were reserved for the road cleaners following the back end of the parade. That’s us all over – praising the unsung hero.

We ended the day at Shambles Square dancing along with the beautiful Bengal Tiger and hundreds of happy Mancunians simply doing what we do best, having it large.

Words by Cathy Crabb 

Images by Carl Gibson