Blackpool Illuminations will be extended for the second consecutive year in 2021, by two months.
The famous light display will begin on Friday September 3rd and will run all the way through to Monday January 3rd 2022.
VisitBlackpool announced the good news, saying that the two-month extension is intended to give the resort’s hard-hit tourism industry an added boost, with Covid-19 still expected to cause further disruption for the next few months.
On top of this, the winter extension of the illuminations will coincide with a significantly enhanced, resort-wide Christmas offering.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Culture for Blackpool Council, said: “Although last year’s extension was disrupted by tier restrictions and a second lockdown, all of the evidence showed that there was a huge appetite for the public to visit the Illuminations in a safe and enjoyable way.
“We know from all of the positive feedback that we received that, amid so much gloom, the Illuminations provided a much-needed tonic to so many people.
“We are making this decision early so that our businesses can start to plan for the extended season. At the same time, we are planning a comprehensive package of themed shows, events and attractions to give visitors plenty of reasons to come to Blackpool over the festive season.”
More details about the Christmas offer will be announced over the coming weeks, with Friends Festive Live already confirmed to be coming to the Winter Gardens for two weeks in November.
Strictly judge Shirley Ballas will also star in the Cinderella panto at the Opera House in December.
Plans for the annual Illuminations Switch-On ceremony on Friday September 3rd will also be unveiled in the next few months – last year, the event was presented as a virtual show in association with MTV, with seven Corona Heroes from the UK pulling the switch.
You can find more information on Blackpool Illuminations, including 2021 Switch-On times, here.
Victoria Baths to be transformed into night market with street food and live music
As well as over 100 local vendors, there will be an array of tasty street food and live entertainment across the evening
Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is set to be transformed into a magical night market with over 100 independent vendors, street food and live music.
The Night Market will be taking over the iconic building next month to showcase the very best talent Manchester’s local business scene has to offer.
There will be everything any passionate shopper could hope for, varying from artisans, artists, jewellers, designers, bakers and candlestick makers.
Also in attendance will be an outdoor street food village for hungry shoppers, complete with numerous themed bars and a ‘Vintage Pool Party’ filled with vintage treasures with a live DJ.
And this year there will be The Turkish Rest Room Salons, which will see three of Manchester’s most exciting singer-songwriters – Dilettante, Anna McLuckie and Ellen Beth Abdi – transform the exquisite Turkish Rest Room into a performance space.
This unique concert venue promises to be a ‘hidden delight and an oasis of calm within the bustling market’, and has been handed over to the artists themselves, who will each ‘own the room’ for their one hour concert set.
The Night Market will be taking over Victoria Baths on Friday October 7th from 7pm til late.
Early Bird tickets are £6, though two can be bought on offer for £10. There is also the option to purchase a Night Owl ticket for £4 for those planning on arriving later in the evening.
For more information and to book tickets, click here.
A Pokemon bus is bringing Pikachu to the Trafford Centre for a treasure hunt art trail
Pikachu is coming to Manchester!
The Trafford Centre is set to host a special Pokemon-themed treasure hunt art trail this autumn.
The Pokemon Company International has announced that Pokémon: Art Through the Ages will be partnering with the popular shopping centre next month.
Pikachu will arrive at the Trafford Centre on the special Pokemon bus on October 17th, where he will be available for meet and greets with fans.
The treasure hunt-style event will then run until November 13th, with visitors getting the chance to discover hidden art pieces of the 151 Pokemon ‘originally discovered in the Kanto region of Japan’.
The hidden Pokemon art will include a variety of artistic techniques and styles from across the ages, including cave paintings, stained glass and oil paintings for families and fans of all ages.
And visitors who find ten hidden oil paintings and unscramble the secret code will be able to collect a double-sided, limited-edition poster from the Trafford Centre’s GAME store – though these posters will be subject to availability.
There’ll also be additional activities inside a booklet for visitors to complete at their own leisure, as well as more goodies and freebies up for grabs.
Additionally, there will be special art workshops tailored especially for children aged between six and eleven at the Orient Main Stage, as well as showings of Pokemon movies and episodes across the months.
Peter Murphy, senior director of marketing at The Pokemon Company International, said: “We are thrilled to announce such a creative partnership with Trafford Centre.
“Exploration is an element which is key to Pokemon, and we can’t wait for kids and families to embark on their own journey to complete the Kanto Pokedex and see Pokemon depicted in such unique art styles.”
Bruce Gardner, brand experience director at Trafford Centre, added: “When initially sourcing a suitable location for this fantastic event, the Pokemon team were inspired by the unique architecture that is iconic of Trafford Centre.
“We have worked collaboratively with Pokemon, our partners such as Transport for Greater Manchester, Clear Channel and our retailers to ensure Pokemon fans can escape the ordinary and experience a unique, memorable and fun-filled day out.
“On behalf of the centre, we’re delighted to welcome Pokemon next month.”
Manchester Christmas Markets opening date finally confirmed for 2022
It’s nearly that time of the year again, as we count down the days until Christmas – yes, it’s only September, but there’s no harm in getting excited early.
And the festive season means one thing – the return of the popular Manchester Christmas Markets.
The annual event will once again return to Manchester in 2022, and will be spread out across a number of locations in the city centre.
The dates for this year’s event have now been revealed, and this year it will all kick off on Thursday November 10th.
From this date, they will be open every day until Thursday December 22nd – the main hub of markets will then close, but certain zones will reopen after Christmas and into the New Year.
This will include the Christmas ice rink at Cathedral Gardens, with the food and drink stalls at that location also reopening after Christmas Day.
Last year, the main hub was located at the newly established ‘Winter Gardens’ in Piccadilly Gardens, which will be returning – the council is yet to release the full list of zones for this year, however.
It’s very likely that, as per usual, there will be stalls on Market Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens.
Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, Councillor Pat Karney, said: “With Christmas Day a mere three months away, that can only mean one thing – Manchester Christmas Markets Day is even sooner!
“In fact, there’s only seven weeks left to go until you can grab a gluhwein and buddy up with a bratwurst whilst checking out the fantastic Christmas gifts and goodies on the best Christmas Market in the land. Mark it on your calendars – 10 November – they’re back!”