Manchester Flower Festival returns - with installations honouring Caroline Aherne, Girls Aloud and Emmeline Pankhurst

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 9 May 2024

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(Credit: Carl Sukonik)

The Manchester Flower Festival is to return for the late May Bank Holiday, with pop-ups and installations across the city.

Headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’, this year’s theme will be Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form.

Among them will be the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop idols Girls Aloud and Moss Side’s proudest daughter, the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

Floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Fast Show star and co-creator of The Royle Family Aherne, a collaboration with acclaimed Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow.

The piece will use sustainably sourced plants and flowers, and will be installed at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street.

Manchester Flower Festival
(Credit: Carl Sukonik)

Pop band Girls Aloud will be celebrated with their own ‘tribute garden’ sponsored by the AO Arena, and which has been dedicated to the late Sarah Harding, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst, meanwhile, has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

Found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, it will be adorned with purple, green and white plants, the colours of the suffragette movement.

Elsewhere, icons like Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and Manchester brewery Boddingtons will also have their own installations.

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including art supplies shop Fred Aldous on Stevenson Square, the Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

The likes of Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from 24 to 27 May.

Find more information here…