A new £1m attraction based on the beloved Peter Rabbit is set to open on Blackpool’s seafront next month.
‘Peter Rabbit Explore and Play’, which has been eighteen months in the making, will be opening next door to Madame Tussauds and will join Merlin’s six other attractions, including The Blackpool Tower and Sea Life Blackpool.
In what will be Merlin’s first stand-alone visitor attraction experience based on the cartoon, visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves in the world of Peter Rabbit and ’embark on an adventure across five fluffy-tailed themed zones’.
Guests will also be able to meet, greet and ‘high-paw’ Peter the Rabbit himself when the attraction opens in February.
Merlin said on the new opening: “Guests will need to think like a rabbit, move like a rabbit and deploy rabbit-like senses with a whole burrow-full of creativity in order to complete the challenges and earn badges – seeing if they have the skills to join the secret treehouse club.”
The regional director Kate Shane added: “We are thrilled to be welcoming such an icon to Blackpool.
“Peter Rabbit is a well-loved household name for young and old and is globally renowned. We are delighted that this new attraction concept will be created here in Blackpool first.
“We firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort and with such a family-favourite brand joining our Blackpool Cluster of attractions we can’t wait to ‘hop’ to it and get the experience open.”
An exact opening date is yet to be announced, though it has been confirmed for February 2022.
For news and updates, make sure to follow the official Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play Blackpool Facebook page here.
Manchester City announce open-top bus parade today to celebrate Premier League title
The Blues secured the Premier League title after beating Aston Villa 3-2 last night
Manchester City will be parading through Manchester this evening to celebrate their Premier League title victory.
In yesterday’s dramatic match against Aston Villa, Man City overcame a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the last twenty minutes, securing their fourth title as Premier League champions in five years.
In the aftermath of their win, the Blues confirmed that they would be parading through Manchester in a traditional open-top bus parade today, Monday May 23rd, at 6pm.
Man City said in a statement: “Manchester City will celebrate retaining the Premier League title with an open-top bus parade through Manchester city centre on Monday 23rd May.”
Detailing the parade’s itinerary, the statement continued: “Pep Guardiola and the squad will depart from Exchange Square at approximately 6pm, travel onto St Mary’s Gate and then south on Deansgate, before finishing at the Beetham Tower where a live stage show will take place with the Champions.
“Onstage entertainment will start at 4:30pm with the players expected to arrive at approximately 7pm.
“The parade will be hosted by Manchester City’s City Square presenters Danny Jackson and Natalie Pike, who will be joined by former players and special guests.
“There will also be live music from bands and DJs.”
Commenting on the parade, Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Winning back-to-back titles is a fantastic achievement which I’m sure City fans will be eager to celebrate, especially as the pandemic denied them the chance to do so last season.
“The Council are happy to support the parade and expect a memorable occasion as tens of thousands of fans gather in the city centre to share the moment.”
Ahead of lifting the trophy for the last time, Club skipper Fernandinho said: “To finish my nine years at City by winning my fifth Premier League title is a dream come true.
“This squad is genuinely special. The togetherness of the players is like nothing I have experienced before. These guys are my brothers, which makes winning the title even more special.”
Visit the Manchester City website for more information on tonight’s parade.
Manchester Arena Attack: Here’s how the city will commemorate the fifth anniversary this weekend
A number of events will be taking place in the city centre throughout the day
Manchester is preparing for a day of remembrance this weekend to mark five years since the devastating Manchester Arena attack.
On May 22nd 2017, twenty-two innocent people lost their lives in the UK’s worst terrorist attack since the 7/7 bombings.
Today, the date stands as one of Manchester’s darkest days and, to mark five years since the tragedy, the city is preparing for a full line of up of remembrance events to remember those who lost their lives as well as those continuing to live with the disaster today.
Here is the full list of events outlined by Manchester City Council for the fifth anniversary commemoration this Sunday:
Glade of Light Memorial
The Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened by Prince William and Kate Middleton last week, will offer people a place to pay their respects.
On the white marble ‘halo’ of the memorial, the names of the twenty-two victims of the attack are engraved, while personalised ‘memory capsules’ with letters and messages written by the bereaved families are embedded beneath.
Candlelit vigils at Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral will be hosting a number of sessions throughout the day, all of which include prayers, moments of silence and candle lighting.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester will attend the 5.30pm prayers and will lay flowers on the Glade of Light afterwards on behalf of the city.
Sessions will take place at 8.45am, 10.30am and 5.30pm, while bells will ring at 10.31pm to mark the exact moment the bombing took place.
‘A Manchester Story’ at Everyman Cinema
Everyman St John’s Cinema near Spinningfields will be showing the newly released A Manchester Story, a docu-film charting the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing.
A Manchester Story, directed by Anton Arenko documents the ‘untold stories’ that happened following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The film follows a variety of stories from people across the city and beyond.
All proceeds from the screening will go to the charity We Love MCR, which raises money and awareness for causes across Greater Manchester. Get your tickets here.
Tributes at Victoria Station
Tributes will be taking place at Victoria Station below the foyer, where the attack took place five years ago.
People will be given the chance to lay flowers and sign a memory book to commemorate the day with any thoughts, feelings or memories of the event.
Moments of silence will be held at 12pm and 10.31pm, while the station announcer will read out the names of those who lost their lives. The railway chaplain will also read a number of prayers.
The Great Manchester Run
This year’s Great Manchester Run has landed on the day of the anniversary, and will include a one-minute applause at the start of each wave of the run in remembrance of the twenty-two who lost their lives in the attack.
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “22nd May 2017 is one of the darkest days in this city’s history. It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since those terrible events.
“We will never forget those whose lives were so cruelly taken, or those whose lives were changed forever that day.
“But nor should we forget the remarkable spirit shown in the aftermath of the attack as the city came together in solidarity, compassion and a refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Love proved stronger.”
Hocus Pocus in Concert is coming to Manchester this year with a live orchestra
The Sanderson sisters are back…
Fans of the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus will be able to enjoy the magic live in concert for the first time with the arrival of Hocus Pocus in Concert.
Billed as the ‘perfect Halloween treat’, the unique live show will be arriving at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall this autumn as part of its nationwide tour.
Hocus Pocus in Concert will feature a screening of the 1993 film along with a live performance by Emmy-winning composer John Debney’s musical score.
The film tells the tale of the Sanderson sisters – played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy – a trio of witches who are accidentally brought back to life in Salem on Halloween night.
Following their revival, the sisters then attempt to steal the life essence from all of the town’s children so they can have eternal life.
However, they are outwitted by a young boy Max Dennison, his young sister, Dani, and his girlfriend, Allison, who are aided by Thackery Binx, a child who had been changed into a cat for trying to interfere with the witches centuries earlier.
Nearly two decades on from its release, Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween fans far and wide, and its latest musical instalment looks to fare no differently.
The tour will kick off in Glasgow on October 23rd, with other dates scheduled for Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 25th, London’s Eventim Apollo on October 26th and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on October 28th.
The show’s second performance will be at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on October 24th.
Pre-sale tickets are available from Disney Tickets today, while general sale will begin on Ticketmaster from 10am on Friday, May 20th.