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The Frost Fair

Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 December 2018

The Frost Fair

A two-day celebration of winter, art and togetherness. Come one, come all and witness the weekend wonders of The Frost Fair to celebrate 250 years of the circus in Britain. Be astounded and amazed by our ringmaster Baron Bazaar and his troupe of performers.

Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 December 2018, 11am-7pm

The weekend programme of free activities will begin on Saturday 1 December at 11am, with a rotation of live performances outside on the gallery's front Sculpture Terrace.

Fire and LED performers from Manchester’s very own Travelling Light Circus will light up the event with sensational routines that blend dance and awesome skills, perfectly choreographed to create a show that will amaze and delight all ages and musical entertainment will be provided by the rabble of mischievous northerners Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.

The Circus House
work hard to deliver incredible experiences and will be doing just that for The Frost Fair bringing their Baby Circus Workshop inside from 11am-1pm, Have-a-Go Circus Skills, live Trapeze performances and roaming stilt walkers throughout the weekend.

Elsewhere in the gallery, other activities include Family Floristry Workshops with Craig Bullock from 11am onwards, and hear about the Heritage Blackpool & Whitworth Collections.

Join in Crafty Circus activities in the Grand Hall from 11am-5pm and on Saturday, get involved in BBC6 Music’s Art is Everywhere.

Grab a bite to eat from the Modern Caterer and enjoy the sounds from the Café Music Stage across the weekend with live music from Manchester’s finest Jenna G and DJ sets from Matthew Halsall (Gondwana Records) and others.

The Outdoor Cinema
returns to The Art Garden featuring the fantasy film Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away, (cert PG), from 4.30pm

Manchester Food And Drink Festival present street food offers for both vegan and non-vegans such as contemporary Mediterranean and Ottomen inspired cuisine from The Ottomen and Wood Fired pizzas from Proove. Warm up with a hot chocolate, churros or sample Squawk Brewing Company’s special Frost Fair Ale.

Why not find that perfect Christmas gift in the artisan crafts markets from local craftsmen and women such as Jo Lavelle Jewellery, The Chorlton Potter, The Glass Gardener and then finish it off with some lovely greenery from Plant Shop Manchester.

Walk The Plank, one of the UK’s foremost outdoor arts companies, will transform the front of the Whitworth into a fiery courtyard and will mark the finale of the weekend with an enthralling firework display on Sunday evening.

Please note:

On the weekend of The Frost Fair the gallery will be open from 11am until 7pm on the Saturday and from 11am until 6pm on the Sunday for the firework finale at 6.40pm. 

Although entry to the event is free, please note there will be a small charge for some of the fair attractions.


Between Friday 30 November and Sunday 2 December, there will be a parking suspension in place on Denmark Road due to The Frost Fair.

Disabled bays will be unaffected by this suspension and will still be accessible to visitors.

The nearest car parks are Cecil Street, M15 6GD and Greenheys Community Car Park on Acomb Street, M15 6FQ.

Greenheys Community Car Park will be open from 10am-6pm for this weekend ONLY (and not on Friday 30 November).


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