Top events in Manchester 2017
The capital of the north and one of Europe's most exciting cities there is always something happening in Manchester. From great sporting events to amazing concerts and famous festivals there is no shortage of things to do whether you live in the city or are just visiting. But, in case you need a little help in deciding what to do or see, we have picked out our top events in Manchester 2017.
January - Chinese New Year
2017 is the year of The Fire Rooster and Manchester plays host to one of the biggest celebrations of the Chinese New Year in the UK. This year sees the appearance of the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors. An amazing exhibition which was originally commissioned for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and which has since toured the world.
Other attractions include a traditional Chinese circus, lion dancing and street food market which brings authentic Chinese cuisine to the streets of Manchester.
Manchester has the second largest Chinatown in the UK and four days of events, exhibitions and music cumulates with the Dragon Parade in Albert Square.
February - Moscow State Circus
Probably the most famous, and certainly the most spectacular, circus in the world comes to Manchester for two weeks in February. Featuring the UK's largest big top and some of the most famous performers in the world this amazing show will take your breath away.
Clowns, trapeze artists and acrobats are just of the incredible acts lined up. The Moscow State Circus has to be seen to be believed. This year the show, which has taken two years to plan and perfect, is called Miracles - Discover the Greatest Gift.
If there is one event you attend in Manchester in 2017 - make it this one.
March - 1966 World Cup Exhibition
Football fans are spoilt for choice in Manchester with the city's top two clubs both offering stadium tours and matchday hospitality. There are also a host of other clubs in the Manchester area but, no matter which team you support, you will want to see the 1966 World Cup Exhibition which is on throughout the month of March at the National Football Museum.
Visitors will be able to see the famous Jules Rimet trophy along with an outstanding collection of memorabilia including the match ball from England's famous 4-2 win over West Germany. New virtual reality technology transports visitors back to Wembley Stadium to relive that historic day.
April - The Crystal Maze
Escape rooms are hugely popular nowadays but back in the 1990s they were unheard of. Until the Crystal Maze exploded onto our television screens that is. Richard O'Brien fronted the original TV show and created an enduring classic and now anyone can try and crack the famous Crystal Maze challenges.
Round up your friends and head down to the Old Granada Studios and you too can explore the Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic and Medieval zones for yourself. This interactive experience is open every day in April and promises to be hugely popular as teams battle through the zones towards the Crystal Dome.
May - The Great Manchester Run
More than 40,000 runners of all abilities from park run shufflers to Olympic athletes have made the Great Manchester Run the biggest 10K race in Europe. But it isn't just the runners who get to enjoy the day; there is so much going on around the event that spectators have just as much fun as those doing the run. This year's race takes place on May 28 and there is a whole festival surrounding the event with street entertainers, live music and lots of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
June - Parklife
The weekend of June 10 - 11 sees the return of Manchester's biggest music festival. Parklife takes place in Heaton Park and, though this year's line-up has yet to be confirmed, if previous events are a guide there will be some extraordinary bands performing live.
The 2016 Parklife festival saw dozens of performers and bands ranging from Craig David to Wolf Alice to the Chemical Brothers. As well the amazing performances on stage there are many Afterlife parties to enjoy as well.
July - Manchester International Festival
Staged every two years with the 2017 event beginning on 29 June and running through to 16 July, the Manchester International Festival is one of the UK's cultural highlights. Bringing together artists from all around the world and held in venues right across the city, MIF showcases some extraordinary talent and has presented many world premieres of new and exciting work.
August - England v South Africa test match
Old Trafford, one of the most iconic grounds in the country, is the setting for a test match between two of the best teams in the world. These two old rivals always produce an intense encounter full of fearsome fast bowling and world class batting. Watch England's Joe Root battle with Vernon Philander and South Africa's Hashim Amla duelling with Jimmy Anderson.
The test match takes place between August 5 - 8 and each day promises to be full of excitement with plenty of entertainment for the crowd off the pitch as well as on it.
September - Manchester Food & Drink Festival
Beginning on September 28 and running through until October 9, the Manchester Food & Drink Festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK. 2017 will be twentieth year the festival has been staged with Albert Square being the main hub though events will be held across the city.
The festival delivers a huge programme of events and features different cuisine, street food vendors, artisan bakers, breweries and drink makers. The festival always attracts world famous chefs and there is all kinds of cooking demonstrations to tempt every amateur cook. This should be a must visit event for every foodie and drink aficionado.
October - Manchester Oktoberfest
You don't have to travel to Munich for Oktoberfest, just to Albert Square between October 18 and 22. This annual extravaganza really does bring Bavaria to the north west with oceans of beer and mountains of bratwurst to keep everyone happy.
The atmosphere at Manchester Oktoberfest is amazing and it is one the whole family can enjoy. Live music and a giant outdoor beer garden along with a 2,000 people capacity tent are the highlights. Authentic Oktoberfest decorations and waiters and waitresses dressed in traditional Bavarian costume ensure a warm welcome for everyone.
November - Let's rock
All year round Manchester plays host to some amazing bands and musicians. November sees some legendary names performing in the city in the run up to Christmas.
The 15th sees the legend who is Alice Cooper returning to Manchester for the first time in five years with his hard rock show.
Three days later on the 18th it is the turn of rock gods Deep Purple to take the stage at the Manchester Arena . Part of their Long Goodbye Tour, the boys will be belting out classics like Smoke on the Water to tracks from Now What?! their most recent album.
By contrast to Alice Cooper and Deep Purple, Little Mix are at the Arena on November 21. The best-selling girls band will be playing to a packed house as part of their Glory Days UK tour.
December - Christmas Markets
Beginning in mid-November and running right through December, Manchester's Christmas Markets are an institution with people travelling from all over the UK and beyond to join in the festivities. The markets originally began on a small site in St Ann's Square but have mushroomed over the years to cover a huge area of the city. The markets generate a wonderful atmosphere and is a great way to start the festive season.