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Thousands flock to celebrate city's diversity at the Festival of Manchester

People turned out in their thousands on Saturday (31 Aug) to celebrate the city's diversity at the second ever Festival of Manchester.

The free festival - by Manchester people, for Manchester people - took over the whole of Platt Fields Park on Saturday for a day jam-packed with non-stop cultural activities and entertainment.

Following last summer’s inaugural event, this year’s festival welcomed  more than one hundred different community groups from right across the city - all coming together to celebrate the rich diversity of Manchester and the many different communities that live here.

The day saw an amazing carnival of colour and creativity from around the globe, with dancing, singing, and music at the heart of the day's events.  

It wasn't all about the music however, with lots of pop-up science, sports and theatre activities throughout the afternoon wowing the crowds - including the Space Shed, the spectacular mobile HQ of the Unlimited Space Agency and its show “How to Save the Planet”.

The have-a-go workshops in music, dance, design, crafts, and sports, as well as walkabout theatre, mouth-watering street food, poetry slams and debates kept the crowds young and old entertained throughout the day and well into the evening, until it was time for the grand finale.

As the sun went down the park took on the vibe of a street party thanks to outdoor arts company Walk the Plank who wowed the crowds with a show-stopper of a finale at the water's edge and on the lake.

All day long festival-goers had been invited to make their own cogs and wheels to go on the Manchester Music Box - an enormous specially built mechanical contraption installed at the lakeside.

As the cogs and wheels on the music box were turned enthusiastically by children from the crowd, the magic of the box revealed itself as a lighthouse in the middle of the lake exploded in a dazzle of colour and spectacular fireworks.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said:

"This year's festival was even bigger and better than last year's.  It was fantastic to see so many people representing so many different cultures, but who all call Manchester home, getting together to show off and celebrate the very best of their own culture.  It was truly the world in a day, right here in Manchester!"

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