The city center is getting ready to welcome back to the famous illuminated Santa Claus statue for another year of festive jubilation.
The Santa Claus figure, which weighs 2.3 tons and is more than 12 meters high, will be built from today, 15 November.
He will take his rightful place outside the Central Library on St. Peter’s Square.
READ MORE: A guide to taking children to Manchester’s Christmas markets
Monday night, he was fully lit by thousands of small energy-efficient LED bulbs.
There will be no major Christmas candle lighting event again this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speculation only began to rise last week (November 12) when the MCR Santa Twitter account tweeted about its return.
“I’m thawing,” it read alongside ice cube emojis.
Santa Claus is the latest addition to the trail of light sculptures created for the city by the local Blackburn-based MK Illumination.
The current statue, complete with glorious mustache, a giant gift-wrapped box for a plinth and a Manchester bee held in one of his gloved hands, replaced the former longtime mascot ‘Zippy’, who was retired in 2019 after 12. years of service.
The iconic figure first took up his position at Piccadilly Gardens in 2019, where he kept an eye on the new Christmas market place.
The main hub for the markets is being held at Piccadilly Gardens this year due to the ongoing work at City Hall.
There will also be a Christmas crib on St. Ann’s Square, light sculptures in Piccadilly Gardens (Winter Gardens) including the popular sparkling Manchester Bee and a large Christmas tree that will accompany St. Nick at St. Peter’s Square.
Market buyers are encouraged to tag the Twitter account @MCRSanta in all the festive selfies they take with the figure.
Councilman Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesman, said: “Santa is eager to return to his favorite city and to make sure Christmas is safe and fun for everyone.
“He wants to make sure everyone in Manchester has a wonderful Christmas. We very much hope you go down to see him, if you miss him you should be sorry.”
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