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Big Santa Returns: Manchester’s Giant Festive Spectacle


Guess who’s back with a jolly “Ho ho ho”? Manchester’s beloved larger-than-life Santa has made his grand return to town ready to spread Christmas cheer and oversee all the merry festivities in his favourite holiday city.

Coming in at a whopping 12-metre high and weighing over 2.3 tonnes Manchester’s giant Santa is powered by low-energy LED lightbulbs and is a firm favourite of festive fun seekers.

Perched on high in pride of place atop an enormous, oversized Christmas present in front of Central Library on St Peter’s Square, Santa will be keeping a watchful eye on everyone for his naughty and nice lists throughout Christmas and into the New Year.

Manchester’s famous red resident with his trademark white beard and whiskers is just one of the magical attractions helping make sure the city looks its twinkly and sparkly best in the run-up to Christmas.

The Manchester Christmas lights trail is also back – perfect for all those crucial Christmas selfies – illuminating the city centre throughout the festive season with giant walk-through baubles, a Manchester bee, lamp post lights, the iconic Manchester Christmas windmill, and much more.

“Making sure Manchester looks its twinkly and sparkly best in the run-up to Christmas is an important part of the seasonal magic for young and old alike and visitors to the city centre this year won’t be disappointed.

“We’ve pulled put all the stops to create the perfect backdrops you won’t want to miss for all those crucial Christmas selfies we can’t get enough of.

“We all know Manchester is Santa’s favourite city – come along and celebrate the festive season with us!”

Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council

Anyone who can’t wait until Christmas Day to see if they’re on Big Santa’s nice or naughty list can find him on social media @MCRSanta where they should be sure to tag him in any Christmas snaps and use the hashtag #McrChristmas to keep him in the loop!

This year marks a special year for the UK’s capital of Christmas as it was exactly 25 Christmases ago that Manchester’s first-ever Christmas market took place in 1998.

A quarter of a century later the markets continue to attract Mancunians and visitors alike to the city in their thousands to fill up on the fantastic festive treats on offer.

With over 225 stalls across nine sites in the city centre selling food, drink, crafts and seasonal gifts, and just last week voted Europe’s favourite Christmas Markets, the markets are a must-see attraction for visitors and local people alike, guaranteed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Open every day from 10 am – 9 pm until 21 December.

Also back again this year is the heart-warming event of the season for young and old alike, the magical Manchester Christmas Parade.

Taking place on Sunday 3 December it promises to be bigger and even better than last year’s unforgettable first-ever Christmas Parade which saw thousands of families line the city centre streets.

Festive Sundays are also back again this year.  A big hit with families last Christmas they will again fill the city centre with family-friendly entertainment pop-ups designed to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.  Delivered in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District they take place on 26 November, 10 December and 17 December.

For those who enjoy a seasonal skate, Skate Manchester’s covered ice rink takes up position in Cathedral Gardens where skaters can spin and twirl around a beautiful Christmas tree amid twinkling lights, Christmas songs, and the smell of gingerbread.  It will be open for Christmas skaters until 2 January with food and drink stalls alongside it open until 31 December.

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