Blackpool illuminations are set to be extended for an additional two months this year to help boost the seaside resort’s tourism.
VistBlackpool has revealed that the Illuminations will run for an extra two months this year from September 4th to January 3rd 2021.
They have also announced they will be hosting their first-ever virtual Switch-On concert in association with MTV Music UK.
This means the switch-on will be free-to-access for all in the online streamed event taking place on Friday September 4th.
Originally the Switch-on was scheduled for the same date, but with an audience of 20,000 people at the Tower Festival Headline.
Due to social distancing, this event cannot go ahead in its usual format. So instead, for the first time in 70 years, the resort will be holding an accessible virtual Switch-On event that can be seen all over the world.
There will be an hour-long concert with a mixture of pre-recorded and at-home performances as well as live performances filmed at a closed event in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
The event will be hosted by Diversity’s Ashley and Jordan Banjo, and will feature a star-studded line-up of talent, leading up to the all-important Switch-On moment.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “The annual Switch-On event is the biggest night in Blackpool’s events calendar. Sadly, it is simply not possible to stage an event of that scale given the current restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings.
“However, it would be unthinkable not to launch our Blackpool Illuminations season with an extraordinary event. Staging the first-ever virtual Switch-On concert to a mass audience watching from home does exactly that.
“We are very much aware of how much our tourism businesses are suffering as a result of the pandemic and we hope that by extending the Blackpool Illuminations season by two months, it will give them an opportunity to bring in some additional trade.
“We are planning for a safe, socially distanced Illuminations experience and will be keeping all Government health guidance under review as we move towards the autumn season.”
Details of the Switch-On concert’s line-up will be revealed over the course of the next few weeks, along with how you can view the streamed event.
Plus VistBlackpool will also be releasing a preview of new features on the 2020 illuminations display.
A huge new ‘oriental grocery experience’ and sushi restaurant is coming to Chinatown
Manchester’s Chinatown is set to get an exciting new addition…
A huge ‘oriental grocery experience’ and sushi restaurant has been given the go-ahead to set up shop in the heart of Manchester’s Chinatown.
Now, the best part of going on holiday abroad is browsing the foreign supermarkets to see what weird and wonderful things they have on offer – and now, you’ll be able to do that right here in Manchester (though Fanta Lemon may not be included, sorry).
The Blue Whale Supermarket, which has stores dotted across not only the North West but the whole world, will be opening a 5,500 square foot high-end ‘oriental grocery experience,’ offering up fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood, and a whole array of the wonderful foods and drinks from the other side of the world.
Shoppers can expect to find a selection of goods from countries like Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and beyond.
The supermarket will also boast a sixty-cover sushi restaurant – details surrounding their dining experience have been kept tightly under wraps so far, but it is known that they will be using fresh ingredients directly from their shelves, so it’s bound to be a good one.
A further description of the project on Skyscraper City read: “Excited to have completed on yet another leasehold site acquisition for a new brand to enter the market – Blue Whale Oriental supermarket @ St James Tower, Manchester.
“From the team at Bon Pan Asian restaurants, Blue Whale will be a brand new circa 5,500 sq ft high end oriental grocery experience offering fresh fruit and veg, Fish and Seafood, with a large 60 cover Sushi restaurant counter under a new brand Aka Sushi.”
The application to fit out the supermarket and restaurant at Unit 1 Charlotte Street has been accepted according to the Manchester City Council website, so we can hopefully expect some exciting things very soon!
Two new food halls opening in Manchester and Cheshire from the team behind Stretford Foodhall
Good news for Sale and Northwich foodies
The team behind the popular General Store and Stretford Foodhall sites across Manchester has announced two new foodhall projects for Sale and Northwich.
Store Group’s foodhall concept, which includes a constantly changing line up of local and independent food and drink vendors, has proved to be a huge success in their flagship location, Stretford – so now seems the perfect time to roll out two more venues further out of Manchester and into Cheshire.
The Sale Foodhall will be opening this summer – an exact date is yet to be confirmed – and will feature a dining and drinking space large enough for 150 guests.
It will replace the ‘Groceries and Beer’ unit already operated by the Store Group, and will be relocated around the corner at Stanley Square Shopping Mall to create a bigger 5,500 sq ft food, drink & retail destination.
The Northwich site, meanwhile, will follow in Autumn and will be taking over a two-storey unit in the town centre, formerly known as Baron’s Quay Social.
The 9,000 sq ft unit will feature a rooftop terrace where customers will be able to dine outside – when the weather allows them to, of course.
Both projects will have the trademark feature of rotating food vendors, local craft beer, wine and spirit vendors, coffee shops with bakery units and one of the General Store’s iconic ‘cornershop’ retail spaces.
Mital Morar, Founder of Store Retail Group said: “This is a really exciting moment for us as we announce our second and third Food Halls. It’s been a long time coming as, like everyone, we’ve battled against Covid over the last year, so we’re hugely excited that the plan is now taking shape.
“We’ve made Sale our home over the last eighteen months, and as we expand and put down even stronger roots in the town we look forward to celebrating an exciting new chapter with the community.
“Northwich is also a really exciting location for us, taking the step out of Manchester for the first time is a big deal for our brand and we are looking forward to the challenge. The location is really important to us – we want to be able to create our own community in Northwich.”
For updates on both new venues, follow Foodhalls on their Instagram page.
A huge beer festival is coming to town and the food lineup has just been revealed
Calling all craft beer lovers
Having just announced its colossal lineup of local restaurants and breweries, the Manchester Craft Beer festival is set to be one hell of an event.
Whether you’re a lover of sour beers, IPA is your go-to tipple, you keep it simple with lager, or whether you’re wanting to simply take it easy with low ABV beers, the MCBF is here to celebrate beer in all of its glory with the help of fifty world class breweries.
Representing Manchester will be local brewing legends Manchester Union, Marble, Pomona Island, Track Brewing Co, Beatznikz Republic, and the brand new Bundobust Brew Pub.
Coming from overseas, on the other hand, breweries such as Norway’s Lervig, Denmark’s Mikkeller and Netherlands’ Fontaal and Kees will be on hand to give you a taste of their homeland brews.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – some seriously decent scran will be needed to soak up all of this beer, won’t it?
Well, the MCBF has also partnered with the Kantina Weekender, a self-described ‘feast for the city’ celebrating the joy of food and drink in all of their depths and diversity.
And naturally, where there are beers there are burgers, too. Patty Queen will be serving up LA inspired burgers, fries and shakes – some of the best burgers you can get outside of Santa Monica.
Alternatively, Belzan Pasta Kitchen will be dishing up some authentic Italian grub infused with seasonal British produce, Madre X AngloThai will be on hand to serve non-traditional, upscaled, tacos packed full of delicious Thai flavours, and Higher Ground X Things Palace will be collaborating to offer incredible Asian feasts.
And for the veggies and vegans in attendance – fear not! Freight Island’s in-house residents Plant Grill are teaming up with Green Lights to rustle up some fantastic plant-based dishes.
There will also be DJ sets throughout the event by acclaimed local artists Craig Charles, Daddy G, Django Django and Queen B.
The festival will be taking place at Depot Mayfield between July 23rd-July 24th. Each ticket is priced at £49.50 and allocates guests entry to a five-hour session on the Friday or Saturday, includes all beer, access to all food traders and a special festival beer glass.
Tickets are on sale now here if you want to get involved.