More than 70,000 people are estimated to have turned out for the second annual Manchester Day Parade.
About 96 community groups and 3,000 walkers took part in the carnival that began last year and was thought to have created £4m for Manchester firms.
A galleon, a Lancaster bomber and a giant Gulliver figure were the centrepieces of the parade which had a “voyage of discovery” theme.
Support for the parade “surpassed all expectations” the city council said.
The parade travelled from Castlefield along Deansgate, Cross Street and Albert Square before finishing in Peter’s Street.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: “It was a fantastic display of all the things that makes this city great.
“It was also a great family occasion and a lovely way to celebrate Father’s Day. Several generations of my own family were there to enjoy the event.
“The parade also provides a real boost to city centre businesses, which is incredibly important in these difficult times.”
Councillor Pat Karney, chair of Manchester Day, added: “It felt like there were a million people on the streets. The atmosphere was amazing. Manchester once again came alive for the parade.
“One of the real highlights for me was seeing tens of thousands of children and young people out on the streets with their families enjoying the spectacle.
“It’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives and helps instil the real sense of pride in our city that makes it the best place in the world to live.”