Manchester is bracing itself for its ‘busiest week of the year’ as hundreds of thousands of music fans are set to attend a number of major events.
Kickstarting the festivities is American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, who will be holding a two-night residency at the AO Area tonight and tomorrow (June 7th and June 8th).
And from Thursday, June 9th, Ed Sheeran will be holding a four-night residency at the Etihad Stadium as a part of his highly anticipated ‘+ – = ÷ x’ tour.
The Killers will also be in Manchester this weekend when they bring their tour to Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Saturday, June 11th, the same night Alicia Keys performs at the AO Arena.
Also on the bill this weekend is the annual Parklife Festival at Heaton Park, headlined this year by US rapper 50 Cent.
Thanks to all these events, traffic officials have said around 200,000 people are expected to be in, around or passing through Greater Manchester on the Saturday alone.
National Highways in the North West has said its North West Regional Operations Centre will be closely monitoring motorway traffic, while patrols will be carried out to help manage traffic and keep drivers on the move.
And while concert goers have been urged to use public transport, Transport for Greater Manchester has warned that its tram and bus services may experience some disruption over the weekend.
Chris Chadwick, senior network planner for National Highways in the North West, said: “We’ve ensured there are no roadworks on key routes over the weekend and we don’t expect any major congestion problems but people shouldn’t just leave the house and ‘hope for the best’.
“Our message to anyone thinking of driving to or around Manchester over the weekend is to plan your journey and certainly check traffic conditions before setting out.
“If you are going to one of the events please give yourself plenty of time.”
For more travel advice and information on potential disruptions and delays, visit the Transport for Greater Manchester website.
M&S is doing a Christmas piña colada cocktail and it’s on shelves now
This sounds pretty delicious!
M&S shoppers are raving over a festive cocktail that is a Christmas twist on a delicious summer classic, and it’s already on shelves.
Shoppers are going mad for the new festive ‘must have’ with one bargain hunter spotting it already stocked in her local Marks’, which she posted to social media.
The savvy shopper shared a snap of the luxurious gold and red bottle with an Art Deco logo, which quickly went viral with the post racking up over 1,000 likes.
The photo also shows the M&S Christmas Colada is on sale for £5.50 a bottle.
A festive twist on the classic piña colada, it’s flavoured with ‘pineapple juice, coconut milk, and warming spices with two measures of white rum’, and is sure to go down a treat this winter season.
The Christmas bargain was shared to the Snack News & Reviews Facebook page where users rushed to social media to share their excitement for the product, calling it a ‘must have’ as they also praised the price.
A great gift to bring along to Christmas dinner parties, shoppers say it is perfect for something to sip on throughout the season’s festivities.
One person wrote: “Defo getting this wee number for Christmas Day!” Another said: “Wow, two measures. I’ll have three bottles. What is everyone else drinking?”
While a third put: “Ooohhh yes. I can feel a few pre-Xmas party drinks at mine coming on.” And a fourth typed: “M&S pulling it out the bag again with their Christmas drinks!!”
Other users wondered whether M&S’ popular drinks ‘Let it Sloe’ and ‘Slow Fizz’ are back in stock again for the upcoming Christmas season.
It comes after one shopper urged people to head to their nearest M&S immediately as she was able to bag around £100 worth of shopping for just £16.
Victoria Evangeline posted a video on her TikTok saying: “M&S prices are a joke. They are ridiculous at the moment, you’ve got to see this.”
She went on to say M&S are getting rid of all their summer stock to make way for its Christmas range and that’s why some of its prices are so low – so best get down there asap!
Strong chance of snow on Christmas Day, according to experts
Snowfall would be like the icing in the cake
Experts have predicted there will be a strong chance of snow falling on Christmas Day this year.
Just a few months remain until the big day, which means the countdown is officially on.
In an early outlook, bookmaker William Hill’s betting odds suggest there’s a pretty strong chance we could perhaps be more than dreaming of a white Christmas this year, with Manchester at 4/1.
Snow is looking good for parts of Scotland as the betting firm have made it just 2/1 in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and 3/1 in Leeds. Winter is definitely coming and the North could be covered in a blanket of snow.
Liverpool and Newcastle can bet on odds of snow falling in their Northern cities at 20/1.
And anyone betting on a snowy winter wonderland this Christmas in the capital can take 11/1, while Gatwick is at 20/1.
Lee Phelps, a spokesperson for William Hill, said: “Before you know it the supermarkets are stacked high with mince pies and everyone is wondering whether we’ll have a White Christmas.
“The early betting makes Edinburgh and Glasgow the leading spots to see snow this year at just 2/1, while anyone who fancies a White Christmas in the capital, London, can take 11/1.
“Of all the markets relating to Christmas released today, the most hotly tipped one has to be King Charles III to reign supreme on Christmas Day, with the royal broadcast looking nailed-on at 1/6 to draw in the day’s highest peak viewership.”
With Christmas inescapably in your face now – as supermarkets have already started stacking their shelves for those who like to shop early and those who may need reminding before it creeps upon you – William Hill also has a list of other Christmas specials.
These include LadBaby to record another festive chart topper at even money and King Charles III’s speech to be the most watched programme on Christmas day, at 1/6.
William Hill odds for snow on Christmas Day 2023:
Edinburgh (Airport) 2/1
Glasgow (Airport) 2/1
Leeds (Leeds-Bradford airport) 3/1
Belfast (Airport) 7/2
New York (JFK International airport) 4/1
Manchester (Airport) 4/1
Birmingham (Airport) 6/1
Cardiff (Airport) 10/1
London (City Airport) 11/1
Bristol (Airport) 20/1
Dublin (Airport) 20/1
Paris (Charles de Gaulle International airport) 20/1
Aberdeen (Airport) 20/1
Liverpool (Airport) 20/1
Newcastle (Airport) 20/1
Gatwick (Airport) 20/1
Mysterious pink pigeon baffles locals after it’s spotted in Greater Manchester
The fuchsia feathered friend has been seen on the streets of Prestwich
A pink pigeon has been spotted in a town centre in Bury leaving residents speculating as to how it got its colour.
The fuchsia feathered creature has been seen around Prestwich, standing out from the rest of the grey pigeons, while eating food being given to it by locals.
Greater Manchester Police in Bury North tweeted that their officers on foot patrol around the centre also ‘came across a rare pink pigeon in the town centre’.
But people have been wondering how the bird came to be the hot pink hue, with many believing it may be via artificial means.
One resident asked in a post on Twitter: “Has anyone else seen this pink pigeon in Bury and does anyone know why it is pink?!”
In response, one commenter said: “I saw it on Monday. Apparently they release them at weddings.” Another put: “Yeah I saw it last week on the rock.”
A third person wrote: “Believe it was used in a gender reveal hence the hot pink. Seen several times.” And a fourth added: “When I worked in Miles Platting there were bright blue ones that had become dyed by the nearby paint factory.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA told the Manchester Evening News: “We can’t be sure whether these birds have been deliberately covered in a pink substance, or whether they have fallen in something.
“If someone has intentionally painted the pigeon’s feathers this is very worrying as it could cause health problems, impair their ability to fly and make them more vulnerable to predators.
“Dye and paints can be toxic to birds and animals, and they would be likely to try to clean any such substance from their coat or feathers which could result in them swallowing it.”
Earlier this year, a pigeon was dyed pink for a gender reveal party in New York City before being discovered by animal rescuers.
Due to complications from the harmful and toxic chemicals in the dye, the bird – a white king pigeon – unfortunately died a week later.