The Greater Manchester Get Together is part of a national three day celebration inspired by the memory and the values of Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered by a right wing extremist during the Brexit referendum.
Tonight, Friday 16th June, the Greater Manchester Get Together kicks off with a three hour event in Manchester Cathedral Gardens, between 7:30pm and 10:30pm, and is billed as 'essentially a chance for people of different communities, faiths and backgrounds to come together in celebration and commemoration'...
The free event will feature children's activities, food, live music and entertainment, and is backed by Greater Manchester Citizens, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham...
"After the tragic events of the past few weeks where so many innocent lives have been lost in Manchester and London, we believe that it is now more important than ever to unite to express our grief for lives lost, our resolve to fight hate in all its forms and our commitment to hold to our values" they state
"In that light we hope that the many events across Manchester planned for the Great Get Together will provide an opportunity for people to come together" they add "Some will want to gather in the centre of the city and this event, taking place in the Cathedral Gardens just by Manchester Arena, will provide that opportunity."
The Great Get Together is a nationwide event that will see communities come together, inspired by Jo Cox's maiden speech in parliament, when she said: "We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us".
Jo's husband, Brendan Cox, says: "In the last few weeks we have been awed by the scale of the reaction to the idea of the Great Get Together taking place this weekend. The Great Get Together is the very simple idea of getting together with our neighbours and sharing food.
"We are already aware of almost 120,000 events across the country from street parties to barbecues and picnics - and I know that that is probably just the tip of the iceberg" he adds "Communities coming together in this way is more important now than ever.
"After the election and even more so after the horrific attacks in Manchester and London there is a huge ground swell of people who just want to focus on the things that unite us, who want to draw closer to their neighbours and communities" he explains "I think people are sick of the narrative of hatred and division that neither represents who they are nor our country.
"We hope these events give us all a moment - as my wife talked about in her maiden speech - to focus on the things we have in common" he says "These events were inspired by Jo and mark her anniversary, but I hope they play a wider role in bringing us closer together. I also hope they are fun, full of energy and laughter. That's what Jo would have wanted."
The Greater Manchester Get Together
Friday 16th June 7:30pm-10:30pm
Manchester Cathedral Gardens
There are also loads of other events happening over the weekend – click here for an interactive map