A Magnificent Manchester Event for Every Month of the Year

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With a population of more than 3 million and a footprint that spans 1,277 square kilometres, there’s always something exciting happening in Greater Manchester. The city is known for featuring England’s most alluring events and festivals, whether the season is spring, summer, autumn, or winter. This list of must-visit Greater Manchester events features the best of the best held during each month of the year. Check out the list, mark your calendar, and start planning your English getaway today.

January

Manchester Beer and Cider Festival

There’s no better way to keep warm on a chilly winter day in Manchester than by sipping on some of the region’s top beers and ciders. In fact, breweries and eateries come from around the world to put their specialties on display at this Campaign for Real Ale event.

February

Chinese New Year

February is a short month, but it often feels like the longest, dreariest time of year. That’s not the case in Manchester, where you can ring in the new year all over again at the annual Chinese New Year celebration. Four full days are bursting at the seams with events taking place throughout the city, and it all culminates in the grand Dragon Parade. It’s a sight that should not be missed.

March

Manchester Irish Festival

Celebrate your Irish heritage or simply the things you love most about Irish culture at the Manchester Irish Festival. Known as Europe’s largest Irish festival outside of Ireland, this 15-day-long extravaganza includes all elements of Irish culture, from literature and culture to comedy, music, and sports.

April

Manchester Punk Festival

Get ready to rock with punk music fans from across England and around the world at the annual Manchester Punk Festival. More than 90 bands fill concert halls, bars, and other venues with three full days of punk rock. This event is entirely volunteer run, and you can feel the passion of the performers, volunteers, and fans at every show.

May

Castlefield Food Festival

Foodies rejoice. The Castlefield Food Festival brings the area’s most drool-worthy street food vendors, best local farms, and producers together for four days of unforgettable eats. An on-site bar makes the event even more welcoming, with craft gins, real ginger beer cocktails, ales, and other unique drinks. A complimentary drink upon arrival is included in the ticket price. Cheers!

June

Manchester Day Parade

There’s no better way to celebrate the rich culture and diversity of Greater Manchester than at the annual Manchester Day Parade. Whether you’re a local or visitor from across the world, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with the city after witnessing the elaborate parade, street performances, decorations, and lip-smacking food and drink.

July

Manchester Jazz Festival

There are few Manchester moments more magical than listening live jazz music performed by some of the world’s best musicians outdoors on a gorgeous July evening. This award-winning festival takes place for nine days at numerous venues throughout the city and features the most celebrated local and international jazz musicians.

August

Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

Celebrate summer to the fullest with a major dose of Caribbean culture at the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester. This event has been a favorite amongst Manchester locals and tourists alike for more than 40 years. It’s the North West’s biggest festival of Caribbean culture and music, and you’re guaranteed to feel the good vibes the moment you arrive.

September

World Black Pudding Throwing Championship

A trip to Manchester wouldn’t be complete without visiting a completely quirky event. The World Black Pudding Throwing Championships have taken place since the 1980s. Competitors have three chances to knock over as many Yorkshire puddings — arranged in piles of 12 on a 6-metre-tall plinth — as they can. This event is as much fun to watch as it is to participate in.

October

Manchester Oktoberfest

You may not be in Germany, but the Manchester Oktoberfest celebration will transport you there through flavor, music, and of course, plenty of beer. This five-day-long celebration includes tent space for 2,000, so arrive early to find a seat and start chugging.

November

Manchester Christmas Markets

Greater Manchester is especially charming during the Christmas season, but you don’t have to wait until December to take part in the celebrations. The city is known for its award-winning Christmas markets, which offer an abundance of local eats, warm seasonal drinks, yuletide gifts, and so much more. More than 300 stalls and chalets fill the streets to welcome shoppers, and entrance to the markets is always free of charge.

December

Bolton Winter Festival

December is when winter is finally in full swing in Manchester, and the Bolton Winter Festival welcomes the season with open arms. Enjoy the covered ice rink, artisan markets, Santa’s grotto, and the ever-popular snow slide.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you venture to the Greater Manchester area, you’re bound to be blown away by the abundance of events taking place. During every month of the year, the city offers more than one exciting local festivity to suit any traveler or taste.

What are you waiting for? Book your 2018 or 2019 trip to one of these must-visit Manchester events.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C, Mexico and around the world. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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