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Manchester Life

Manchester Day Announces ‘Our Planet’ Theme Amid Climate Emergency

By Laura O'Neill February 12, 2020

Manchester Day will highlight the climate emergency with an ‘Our Planet, Our City’ theme for this year’s parade.

Last year, the city announced a Climate Emergency, meaning sustainability and climate issues are now central to all decision making in the city.

Photo: Manchester Day

This year’s Manchester Day, on June 21 from 1pm until 6pm, is also rising to the challenge, beginning with a programme of car-free activities throughout the summer until the World Car Free Day in September.

More than 2,000 people from local communities work with around 30 artists each year to meet the mammoth task of creating the parade, produced once again by award-winning arts organisation, Walk the Plank.

As always, music, colour, dance and outdoor theatre will also spill over into the city centre for a full afternoon of family entertainment, food and drink – all of which will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Photo: Manchester Day

Sustainability has always been a key part of the day, breaking new ground with a no combustion engine rule in the parade when it started eleven years ago.

The floats, artworks and props are walked, pushed, pulled and danced through the city centre. The costumes are all handmade for the event and many of the large structures are reused each year to limit waste.

Manchester Day 2020 will celebrate our communities, galvanise our neighbourhoods and animate our streets as organisers rise to the challenge of using less, now to protect it for the future and living more sustainably.

Manchester Day is created in partnership between Manchester City Council and outdoor arts specialists, Walk the Plank.

Photo: Manchester Day

Creative Director of this year’s Manchester Day is acclaimed designer Dan Potra, whose credits include the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2010 World Cup Finals.

Cllr Pat Karney, chair of Manchester Day, said:

“Manchester Day is always the most incredible spectacle, a true celebration of our city, its people and our cultures. Over the last decade we have made thousands of Manchester people the stars of the show with tens of thousands looking on from the crowd.

“This is your chance to get involved with the show of the summer and I’d urge as many groups to sign up as possible. It will be the highlight of your year.

“This year’s theme will tackle one of the challenges of our times: Climate Change. Sustainability has always been an important part of the celebration, but it’s time we brought this conversation front and centre – and what better platform than Manchester Day.”

Photo: Manchester Day

Liz Pugh, co-founder and executive creative director of Walk the Plank, said:

“With its people-powered, cycled, re-cycled and up-cycled approach, Manchester Day has always had sustainability at its heart from the very start.

“But this year’s theme gives everyone taking part the chance to create an even more powerful response to the issue of climate change.

“We’re excited to see how artists and community groups, in collaboration with Dan, help the people of Manchester make a bold and imaginative statement about climate change as they parade through the city’s streets.”

For more information click here.


Also published on Medium.