Manchester’s most Instagrammable event, The Manchester Flower Festival, returns this May Bank Holiday weekend and visitors can expect an iconic celebration.

Taking place from Friday 24 – Monday 27 May, the free-to-attend festival will bring a floral fiesta into the city centre, featuring an Iconic Floral Trail of stunning installations, plus lots of alfresco dining, live music, entertainment, workshops and more.

Now in its seventh year, The Manchester Flower Festival, organised annually by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, on behalf of city centre shops, restaurants and businesses, attracts thousands of visitors into the city centre. 

The popular Floral Trail is back for 2024 and this year will be celebrating Manchester icons. Weaving its way through the city’s popular shopping streets, the trail will feature 10 professionally designed pop-up gardens and displays including a floral art piece honouring the memory of Manchester legend, Caroline Aherne, a tribute to Girls Aloud who are playing at the city’s iconic AO Arena during the festival where fans can snap the ultimate selfie, Emmeline’s Town Hall featuring a wooden Manchester Town Hall planter alongside a wicker statue of Emmeline and a fabulous floral mannequin interpretation of Manchester icon, Rowetta, best known for her work with The Happy Mondays.

Plus, displays celebrating Manchester’s Second Summer of Love rave scene, the legendary Hacienda and Boddingtons Brewery.  

Festival goers can expect surprises on every corner of the city as additional floral and green displays will be showcased in windows, doorways, planters and shops, including a homage to Sir Ian McKellen and his most loved character, Gandalf, a quirky series of smaller community Ginnel Gardens inspired by Mancunian snickets and back alleys and A Simple Man – a pop-up garden dedicated to the working people of L.S. Lowry’s works. 

Head to the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street to find a selection of beautiful bloom backdrops and displays from local Manchester florists, including Wonderwall, a colourful display of roses, hydrangeas, lemons and roses in celebration of the popular Oasis hit, Cottonopolis, an installation nodding to industrial Victorian Manchester and the mill industry and textile trade, and Manchester Rain, a floral rainfall display made from pressed flowers.

Gardening greats, The RHS, will be on hand with a dedicated flower stand where visitors can learn about RHS Garden Bridgewater and the benefits of becoming an RHS member, while local businesses, Smart Floral Art will be hosting a Pressed Flower Framing Workshop, Stockport Fungi will be showing visitors how to grow their own oyster mushrooms and Søstrene Grene will be teaching flower crafting skills, including crochet basics and a how-to on creating crepe paper flowers.

A unique workshop will also take place at Gail’s on King Street, where The Alternative Florist will be bringing a relaxing and mindful felt sunflower and foliage crafting experience to the festival.

Selfridges will be taking over Exchange Square with live DJs, alfresco food and drink and the chance to meet Gordon the Gnome, while foodies should head to St Ann’s Square for delicious pop-ups with Tast Catala and El Gato Negro. For those who fancy a tipple, The Manchester Flower Festival Cocktail Trail is back with floral and summer creations from some of Manchester’s favourite bars and restaurants including Franco Manca, Gran Café (San Carlo, Selfridges), Urban Playground, Grand Pacific and Fazenda

Pick up a floral keepsake at the Flower, Arts and Craft Market in St Ann’s Square, with stalls from; Christopher Walster, Pangea, Cactus Parlour, LUSH, Sam’s Bake House, Olive Can Fly, Giraffe Flowers and Alternative Flowers.

Families are encouraged to buzz their way around the city in a Bee Hunt and are invited to take part in the unforgettable Manchester Bee Parade. Starting at The Royal Exchange at 12pm on Sunday 26 May, visitors can follow Manchester’s Queen Bee from garden to garden, whilst taking part in the special bee dance, ‘The Waggledance’.

There’s plenty more for families across the festival including a mud kitchen and sensory garden on St Ann’s Square, and workshops with Plant Co-operative, who will be hosting a full day of activities on Friday 24 May including wildflower seed bomb making, sunflower planting and a rock painting contest.

For full listings and workshop booking information, please visit here.

Venture outside the festival zone to find more installations and workshops as lots of popular venues, public spaces and businesses support the festival with their own newly commissioned gardens and displays. Highlights include a floral terrace at Holiday Inn Manchester’s Roby 1844, the Science and Industry Museum’s Planting Stories Garden, floating flower clouds at Bridgewater Hall, a street art urban flower garden by Fred Aldous X The Hammo in Stevenson Square, the Sky Garden at Castlefield Viaduct and a Clocktower Beehive at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.

Manchester’s Printworks will be blossoming with excitement over the festival weekend with a free flower arranging workshop with renowned local florist David Wayman on Saturday 25 May from 12pm – 3pm, alongside complimentary bouquet giveaways from the Printworks Flower Cart and a treasure hunt to find hidden bouquets around the complex.

Visitors can also discover stunning outdoor spaces and take part in Manchester Green Spaces Trail: a brand-new walking trail commissioned by Manchester Accommodation BID celebrating the best green, blue and outdoor areas across the city centre. For more information, just visit


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