Going to the Olympic parade

Little Z has been in love with the Olympics ever since Hannah Whelan visited his school where they were all taught how to do super duper amazing gymnastic flips (half a cartwheel). He’s since gone on about the Oympics in Rio about 200 million times and how he can “run like Flash” to show me how fast he can go. He is a lover of sport and really enjoys football and running and climbing. I now have to run and climb with him and we spend a lot of time looking for walls in the park or fun indoor places we can go. So it was only right that we should go to the Olympic parade when it came to Manchester this week.

As his school wouldn’t let him out early we had to really rush to try to get across Lancashire to the city, navigate our way around a partially shut city centre, find somewhere to park, and then run like Flash to get to the 4.30pm Olympic parade start at the Museum of science and industry. We didn’t quite make the start as we ended up parking at the Piccadilly end, but we did find a very nice spot to stand near the Arndale and waited with the ever growing crowd. Little Z entertained himself with the union jack and one of those huge foam hands that you know is going to really annoy you after about 15 minutes of Z poking it in your face. In our rush we had completely forgotten the big camera AND the iPhone. I luckily at least had my very old work phone with me and it had a camera on it so it would have to do.

To complete the whole Manchester atmosphere, torrential rain started as soon as the parade came round so my photos on my already mediocre camera are shockingly awful, but I’m so glad I had at least that to snap some of the athletes. The atmosphere was just electric and I’ve never seen SO many medals (or Olympic athletes…or an Olympic parade!) up close in real life. There were at least 15 or so floats driving past and Little Z didn’t really know who 90% of them were and he couldn’t understand why Hannah Whelan wasn’t there, but he watched them all and waved anytime someone waved to him. Thankfully, all the spectators were really considerate and people resisted putting their umbrellas up so everyone got soaked through but everyone got to see the athletes go by. It was definitely a bit of a once in a lifetime moment…or once in a 4 year kind of moment…I’m not sure where the parade will be next time the Olympics come round so it was definitely worth getting drenched for.

By float 15, Z was a bit fed up of being wet, even with his hood on, and kept repeating how hungry he was. The Olympic parade ended and the athletes went on to Albert square for all the media coverage that got aired on BBC. We knew there was no way we’d get a good spot so we decided to wave goodbye to the athletes and treat ourselves to Pizza Hut. The staff were lovely and welcomed all the drowned looking rats from the streets as well as their gross soaked through foam hands and other bits of Olympic paraphernalia. It’s been years since we’ve been but it was just so good to have some hot food after the cold and heavy rain. For a city that was hosting around 200,000 people for the evening, they did such a brilliant job of cleaning it all up. By the time we finished our pizza it virtually looked back to normal. Of course, I’m not sure how long the party went on at Albert Square and the MEN Arena but it didn’t take too long to get back out of the city considering all the organised chaos and the sheer numbers of people. We traipsed back with the crowds to the train station where our car was parked and then, like a good mum, I dried the yucky foam hand with the car heaters. I’m giving it a few more days before it disappears of its own accord, but we’ll keep our rubbish pictures of the Olympic parade for good I think.

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade

Olympic parade



  1. Tim October 23, 2016 / 12:06 am

    Great that you made it to the parade in time. It must have been amazing to see so many medallists together like that. Who knows how many kids will be inspired to become future Olympians themselves as a result of this? πŸ™‚
    Tim recently posted…My Sunday Photo: It’s murder on the dance floorMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      I know, he’s been talking about the Olympics so much I really wanted to show him. He really loved it so glad we went!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  2. tracey at Mummyshire October 23, 2016 / 12:08 am

    Wow, it must’ve been amazing to see so many sports stars in one place
    I do love the look on your boy’s face – in awe!
    Great photos too, esp considering how busy it must’ve been.

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      He loved it and really thought we were going to get up on the floats too, so he was a tiny bit disappointed with that but it was fun anyway πŸ™‚
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  3. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) October 23, 2016 / 12:12 am

    Love Little Z’s face in the last couple of photos. What an exciting moment it must have been for him to see the atheletes going by with their medals. What a shame about the rain though.
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…My Sunday Photo 23/10/16My Profile

  4. Fiona - Coombe Mill October 23, 2016 / 12:13 am

    Aw look at his excitement seeing the parade. What a silly system we have that you couldn’t take him out of school early for a special occasion. Thankfully Cornwall schools are way more flexible.
    Fiona – Coombe Mill recently posted…Autumn colours on the farmMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:43 pm

      Weirdly, some schools were allowing them to leave but other neighbouring ones wouldn’t. We missed some of it but manage to see the majority of it all!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  5. Sarah MumofThree World October 23, 2016 / 5:36 am

    You definitely need to keep your rubbish pictures of the athletes! What an amazing experience for you all. It’s brilliant that Manchester was able to handle all those extra people so easily. Cheltenham couldn’t even manage 4000 runners for a half marathon without people missing the start of the race – or missing it completely!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Behind Closed Doors by B A ParisMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:44 pm

      It was mental how they managed to organise it and dismantle it all so quickly. I guess they must be used to big things in the city!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      I’ll definitely dig out the ohotos for him if he ever forgets. So glad we legged it there even in the heavy rain!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  6. Tara October 23, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    What a brilliant experience. I recognise some faces there too. Lovely that you were able to encourage his enthusiasm – maybe you’ll be watching him in a parade one day πŸ™‚
    Tara recently posted…My Sunday Photo – Week 42.My Profile

  7. Jacq Watkins October 23, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    He looks thrilled. I bet he’ll remember that forever!

  8. Laura October 23, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Wow looks amazing! Z’s face just shows how much he’s loving it.
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  9. Galactagogue Mom October 24, 2016 / 6:56 am

    Athletes are loved by kids. Kids adore and hero worship them. I believe that sport persons are better role models for children than hollywood actors.
    Galactagogue Mom recently posted…How To Pump More Breast MilkMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Oh definitely. They’re so inspiring aren’t they? It was a brilliant thing to watch them all in Manchester
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  10. Jess @ Catch A Single Thought October 25, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Ah this is so cool!! I really wanted to take the kids but we’d never have made it from Southport in time. It looks like an amazing experience and definitely something Z can remember (even if Hannah Whelan wasn’t there haha)
    Jess @ Catch A Single Thought recently posted…Exploring Brockholes Η€ #WalkWithWynsorsMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      We definitely cut it a bit fine and I think that’s why I forgot so much of our stuff in the car in plain sight. Luckily it was all still there when we got back!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

  11. Debbie October 25, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Hi Tas, it’s shame the school didn’t let your son off a little early to see the parade, it’s not like it happens all the time. The only athlete I recognise was Alistar Brownlee, and that’s only because I’m a big fan of triathlon.

    And it wouldn’t be an English parade without some rain!

    Debbie recently posted…Through My Lens #2 – Pigadakia, ZakynthosMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      That’s the only one I properly recognised too and he seemed like such a nice guy, saying hello to everyone!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

    • Notmyyearoff November 13, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      Even with our rubbish camera we managed to get some close snaps. They’d cordoned so much off, most people got a really good view!
      Notmyyearoff recently posted…Flying with a one year oldMy Profile

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