Manchester Events and Festivals 2014 / 2015
(Manchester, England, UK)
Throughout the year, Manchester is a city of culture, with many annual festivals being staged to celebrate its rich heritage and multi-ethnicity. Things to do each year are particularly seasonal and include springtime soccer matches, one of Europe's biggest St. Patrick's Day parades in March, and the Great Manchester Run each May.
The Chinatown district is known for its character and size, and at the end of the winter, notable celebrations take place here as part of the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.
Other festivities of note include the nine-day Manchester Jazz Festival each July, the colourful gay pride parties and parades in August, and the Manchester Literature Festival in October. At the cathedral, the International Religious Poetry Competition is a further highlight, as is the Proms in the Park, which is often staged at Heaton Park and draws more than 10,000 people. At the Central Convention Complex (formerly the GMEX Center), the National Wedding Show may appeal to those with bridal aspirations.
National Public Holidays
- 1st January - New Year's Day
- Good Friday / Easter Monday - late March or early April
- First and last Monday in May
- Last Monday in August
- 25th December - Christmas Day
- 26th December - Boxing Day
(If Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the next weekday becomes a public holiday).
Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
Manchester United Football Matches
Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0RA, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 872 1661
Held at the world-famous Old Trafford football stadium, the Manchester United Football Club play many home matches during the football season. Tickets should always be booked in advance, as United is currently one of the most popular football teams in the UK.
Manchester Irish Festival
Address: Various venues across the city, Manchester, M1, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 234 3999
Held during mid-March, the Irish Festival is a showcase of Irish culture in the city, with numerous events, parades, concerts and street entertainers.
UCI Track Cycling World Cup
Address: The Velodrome, Manchester, England
World professionals compete at the city's impressive Velodrome stadium in early April, the only indoor Olympic cycling track in the United Kingdom.
Held in the city centre, the Festival Europa features live music, quality entertainment, specialist markets and performance arts. Europa is held from May to June.
The Great Manchester Run
The Great Manchester Run is a popular sporting event that takes place at the end of May each year. Covering 10 km / 6 miles, the run takes in many of the city's most striking landmarks and tourist attractions.
Lord Mayor's Parade
Address: Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 237 6628
The Lord Mayor's Parade takes place each year in late July and comes with street entertainment, markets stalls, fairground rides and general festivities throughout the city centre.
Manchester Jazz Festival
Address: 226 Ducie House, Manchester, M1, England
Tel: +44 (0)0161 228 0662
The city's well-supported Jazz Festival is a hugely successful jazz extravaganza that takes place in the Castlefield area of the city centre at the end of July.
Summer Musical Madness
Address: Tameside Hippodrome, Oldham Road, Ashton, OL6 7SE, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 330 2095
Held in the Ashton-under-Lyne area at the end of July, the Summer Musical Madness is a popular annual event featuring many musical performances, workshops, concerts and a large show with extracts from world-famous musicals.
Manchester International Caribbean Carnival
Address: Russell Street, Alexandra Park, Manchester, M16 7JL, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 226 0486
The International Caribbean Carnival takes place in July and celebrates the different cultures and communities in the city. Visitors can expect to find street fairs, bands, dancing and general festivities.
Royal Horticultural Flower Show
The Royal Horticultural Flower Show is held every year in Tatton Park at the end of July and is England's largest flower show outside of Chelsea.
AAA's Athletics Championship
Elite British athletes compete at the city's impressive 6,000-seater athletics arena during the summer and this is a major sporting event in Manchester.
Dancing in the Streets
Dancing in the Streets is a celebration of dance, with performances and showcases from both international and local artists.
Salford Triathlon ITU World Cup Event
Held in the Salford area, the Salford Triathlon ITU World Cup Event attracts large crowds of spectators as top athletes are put through their paces.
Manchester Pride has become one of the largest gay events in the United Kingdom and is held at the end of August. Attracting in excess of 150,000 gay men and lesbians, the pride festivities last in the region of ten days and comprise carnival parades and extravagant celebrations.
Proms in the Park
Held in central Manchester, Proms in the Park is the city's very own 'Last Night of the Proms' concert with live performances from top classical musicians, in mid-September.
Manchester Poetry Festival
Address: 24 - 26 Lever Street, Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DX, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 236 5725
The Poetry Festival is held at various venues throughout the city centre and takes place in mid-October, attracting many famous poets and entertaining readers.
Manchester Food and Drink Festival
Address: 24 Lever Street, 3rd Floor, Manchester, M1 1DX, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 237 3091
The Manchester Food and Drink Festival takes place at several centrally located venues in October. With cookery displays, workshops, barbecues, feasting and discounted meals, the activities always attract large crowds.
National Wedding Show
Address: Windmill Street, Central Convention Complex, Manchester, M2 3GX, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 834 2700
The National Wedding Show is held during October and is crammed full of stands, providing information and merchandise on every possible aspect of marriage.
Manchester Literature Festival
Address: Beehive Mill, Jersey Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6JG, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 236 5555
A two-week celebration of literature staged each year in the middle of October, including a number of related events, such as the Midland Future Young People's Writing Competition. Activities, workshops, discussions and readings take place at a variety of venues around the city, including the city's Art Gallery on Mosley Street, the Imperial War Museum North at the Quays, the Instituto Cervantes on Deansgate, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama on Bridgeford Street, the Royal Exchange Theatre on St. Ann's Square, the Royal Northern College of Music on Oxford Road, the Town Hall on Lloyd Street, the City Library at Elliot House and the Yard Theatre on Old Birley Street.
Christmas Lights Switch-On
The city's exciting Christmas Lights Switch-On takes place at the end of November and celebrates the arrival of the festive season, with live entertainment and breathtaking fireworks.
Dazzle Jewellery Fair
Address: Albert Square, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 234 5000
The Dazzle Jewellery Fair is a major event and is generally held during the months of November and December. With spectacular modern jewellery, classical designs and stylish craft work, the fair travels around several major cities in the United Kingdom, attracting many celebrities and famous people.
European and Speciality Christmas markets
During the months of November and December, the city squares are transformed into a winter wonderland, with twinkling wooden chalets, packed with continental items and excellent Christmas gift ideas.
Manchester Storm Ice Hockey Games
Address: Victoria Station, Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester, M3 1AR, England
Tel: +44 (0)161 930 8000
The Storm Ice Hockey Games are held during December. Attracting large crowds of spectators, these games are hugely popular and provide an enjoyable spectator sport during the winter months.