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Festa Italiana unveil full line-up for its huge Italian food festival on August bank holiday

Festa Italiana is back!

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Festa Italiana & sicillianfoodnq / Instagram

The UK’s largest Italian food festival, Festa Italiana has unveiled a colossal line-up ahead of its free Cathedral Gardens event over the August bank holiday weekend.

Festa, initially born out of Manchester’s Italian community four years ago, is back with a bang after Covid-19 foiled its plans last year, with workshops, demonstrations, book signings and some of Italy’s finest cuisine courtesy of celebrated Italian chefs such as Aldo Zilli, Giancarlo Caldesi, Gennaro Contaldo and Festa founder, Salvi owner Maurizio Cecco.

So, what’s up for grabs on the food front? 

Well, considering that Festa celebrates all things Italian, it never fails to deliver on the cuisine side of things.  Throughout the weekend, returning Festa favourites, Café Cannoli will be selling their delicious cannoli made using authentic ingredients imported from Sicily.

Some familiar names will also be making an appearance – I Knead Pizza will be using their staple wood-fired oven to serve their famous Neapolitan pizza, while NQ Sicilian will be dishing up artisan gelato, Coppa Della Casa, Brioche Gelato and Brioche Col Tuppo. Also on the bill, the driving force behind Festa Italiana, family run Salvi’s will be frying up its popular Festival dish, Italian Pizza Fritta.

Pasta Factory will also be serving up a menu of fresh pasta paired with handmade sauces, lovingly prepared by a family with culinary roots in Puglia Italy. And for those with a sweet tooth, Paradiso Authentic Italian will be bringing its range of carefully crafted tiramisú.

Carmela Sereno Hayes, the hugely popular pastaia (specialist pasta maker) and author, will also be making a return to Festa with her much talked about pasta workshops.

I Knead Pizza

And as for the beverages front?

Well, it wouldn’t be a weekend dedicated to Italian cuisine without some authentic Italian booze, would it? The Main Festival Bar will be bringing all of the Italian classics to the party, including Aperol Spritz, the Festa’s signature cocktail Limoncello Spritz in partnership with official Festa brand partner, Limonce.

There’ll also be Italian craft beers, Prosecco, Italian wine, Negronis, Gin & Tonic, and San Pellegrino soft drinks, and
Peroni will also be serving pints of their famed lager at the Peroni Showcase Bar, alongside their own portable cinema.

The films showed will be Romeo and Juliet, Cinema Paradiso and La Dolce Vita.

But perhaps most excitingly, there will also be a number of masterclasses across the weekend.

On Friday 27th August, there will be a series of family-friendly masterclasses for those attending with children – at 1:30pm, Sienna Cecco, the twelve-year-old daughter of Salvi’s owner, will be hosting a cooking demo to teach kids how to make simple and tasty dishes with ease, and at 2:30pm, Julia Martinelli from Pasta Factory will deliver a fun kids pasta masterclass.

Festa Italiana

Saturday 28th August will then see back-to-back workshops and book signings hosted by celebrity chefs and award-winning authors: Gennaro Contaldo, UK brand ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano, (Saturday Kitchen, Two Greedy Italians, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast) at 1:30pm, and Giancarlo Caldesi (Return to Tuscany, Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch) at 2:30pm.

On Sunday 29th August, Gennaro Contaldo will be back at 12:30pm with another Parmigiano Reggiano masterclass and book signing, and at 1:30pm, Fran Scafuri from Altrincham’s Tre Ciccio will be taking guests through a very special recipe. At 2:30pm, celebrity chef and award-winning restaurateur, Aldo Zilli will be hosting a masterclass and book signing.

On the music front, Compagnia Sole Luna will be flying over from Naples and performing each day, bringing traditional folk music revisited in a folk-rock style from southern Italy, while DJs will be spinning records each night.

The free festival will be taking place at Cathedral Gardens on the August bank holiday weekend, Friday 27th to Sunday 29th. For more information and to grab tickets for the paid events, visit the Festa Italiana website here.

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The Manchester Art Fair is back and you can get FREE tickets today

Pieces from world renown artists like Banksy will be up for grabs across the weekend

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Manchester Art Fair

One of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs is coming back to Manchester this year and you can get your hands on free tickets for the exclusive event TODAY.

After a brief hiatus last year, the White Circle Manchester Art Fair is back with a bang and it is boasting a fantastic line up of both modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography and limited edition prints from a selection of some of the worlds most acclaimed galleries and artists.

Art work by world-renown artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and Banksy will be available to purchase at the weekend-long event, as it will from some of the UK’s finest like Saul Hay, Laura Jordan and Ian Rayer-Smith… So start getting your pennies saved up.

Manchester Art Fair

Plenty of Manchester’s favourite artists will also be in attendance throughout the weekend, including Saul Hay Gallery (Castle Street), Contemporary Six (Princess Street), Hot Bed Press (Cow Lane), Simone Ridyard with her urban sketches and the wonderfully raw expressive paintings of Ian Rayer Smith.

But perhaps the most talked about aspect of this year’s fair is the booming market of the ever-so mysterious NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens. White Circle Manchester Art Fair will demystify the world of NFTs, with advice on purchasing, the link to cryptocurrency, and a selection
of exhibitors in the fair selling exclusive NFTs.

Fair Director Sophie Helm said, “We are really excited to part of bringing live art events back to the city with White Circle Manchester Art Fair in November supporting the city’s cultural recovery. Our audience of art lovers will be able to buy art from over 130 galleries and artists who will be exhibiting at the fair over the weekend, as well as well learning more about NFTs.”

Manchester Art Fair

Sarah Maskell, Founder of White Circle, added: “The opportunity to support Manchester Art Fair has been the most amazing collaboration. As we open up offices and public spaces to celebrate the role culture plays in our environment, this event is an integral part of that journey.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to help continue the support the show gives artists in reaching people, sharing their talents and the joy art brings to our community.”

The fair opens with a launch night at Manchester Central on Friday November 19th
from 5-9pm, followed by public admission the following days on Saturday November 20th, 10am-6pm and Sunday November 21st, 10am –5pm.

And guess what? For today only, you lovely Proper Manchester readers can get tickets for the event for FREE. Click here to get yours.

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What's On

The UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park is coming back to Manchester after four years

Christmas 2021 is going to be a good one…

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Winter Wonderland

After a four year hiatus, the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park is making its grand return to Manchester. 

The iconic Winter Wonderland will be coming home to Trafford’s indoor venue EventCity to celebrate the 2021 festivities with magical Christmas experiences such as reindeer, elves, fairies and even Father Christmas and his famous grotto.

There will also be a number of child-friendly theatrical performances taking place on the main stage with daily performances ideal for the whole family, including shows like the Ice Princess Show, Christmas Meltdown and the return of Winter Wonderland’s spectacular Christmas Circus.

Winter Wonderland

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas bonanza without an abundance of festive food, would it? From German bratwursts to waffles and crepes, plus lots of Christmassy games stalls to keep the kids happily entertained, there’ll be something for everyone to feast upon.

Elsewhere, a German bar will also serving up fresh Bavarian beers and other festive drinks and adult refreshments.

Speaking on the grand return, Winter Wonderland’s organisers Tammy and Billy Silcock of Kingpin Events said: “We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Manchester this Christmas after a four-year gap, after the last eighteen months we all need to create magical memories with our families, and we hope the return of the event will spread joy across the region.

“And, as a special thank you for the hard work of our NHS and Armed Forces, we are introducing reduced ticket prices on specific days throughout the run.”

Winter Wonderland

Tickets for the event are now on sale now and are priced at £29.50 for adults and children off-peak, and £35 at peak times. OAPs are priced at £20 and £27.50 while those under the age of three can visit for free at any time. 

Located at Event City next door to the Intu Trafford Centre, Winter Wonderland will be running from Saturday December 4th 2021 to Sunday January 2nd 2022.

To book your own tickets and for more information about the event, click here.

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What's On

Terrifying immersive drive-in cinema experience is returning to Manchester for Halloween

Reckon you’re brave enough for this?

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Park N Party / Scare City

Halloween fanatics, this one is for you: An immersive drive-in cinema experience is coming to Manchester and it looks wonderfully spooky.

Screening from October 1st, Park N Party will be reopening the gates to the Scare City Horror Drive-In at Secret City to put on an immersive, open-air experience featuring performances from live actors alongside some of the scariest and most iconic Halloween films of all time.

Spooky favourites such as Annabelle, Evil Dead and The Ring will be shown across several large screens that you can watch from the comfort of your car – though be warned, eerie ghouls will be lurking in the shadows.

Park N Party / Scare City

Park N Party will be adopting a witchy theme this year, with the events description reading: “We are conjuring a spellbindingly satanic experience complete with horrifying live actors, drive through scare tunnel, your favourite horror movies and much more.

“Scare City 2.0 is an immersive event that will enchant and disturb all who dare enter for a Halloween like no other.”

Once the movie and spooky fun is over, you can recover from your frights with a drink at Secret City’s new bar, which offers an array of drinks and food, including loaded fries and burgers.

There’ll also be plenty of photo opportunities to show off your horror-filled night including a drive-in tunnel, the scare zone, a ritual area, an abandoned gas station, and a very Halloween-esque graveyard.

Fancy it? Click here to book your tickets.

Here’s the line-up in full:

  • Friday Oct 1st, 9:00pm: The Wretched
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 3:00pm: Paranorman
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 6:00pm: The Nun
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 9:00pm: A Quiet Place
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 3:00pm: Coraline
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 6:00pm: The Cabin In The Woods
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 9:00pm: Annabelle
  • Wednesday Oct 6th, 9:00pm: The Descent
  • Thursday Oct 7th, 9:00pm: Poltergeist (2015)
  • Friday Oct 8th, 9:00pm: Insidious
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 3:00pm: Coco
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 6:00pm: The Babadook
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 9:00pm: A Quiet Place Part II
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 3:00pm: Hocus Pocus
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 6:00pm: Evil Dead (2013)
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 9:00pm: Annabelle Comes Home
  • Wednesday Oct 13th, 9:00pm: The Witch
  • Thursday Oct 14th, 9:00pm: Get Out
  • Friday Oct 15th, 9:00pm: Insidious Chapter 2
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 3:00pm: Frankenweenie
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 6:00pm: Cabin Fever (2016)
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 9:00pm: The Ring
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 3:00pm: The Corpse Bride
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 6:00pm: Annabelle: Creation
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 9:00pm: Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
  • Wednesday Oct 20th, 9:00pm: Paranorman
  • Thursday Oct 21st, 9:00pm: Insidious Chapter 3
  • Friday Oct 22nd, 9:00pm: Exorcist
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 3:00pm: Monster House
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 6:00pm: The Woman In Black
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 9:00pm: The Grudge
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 3:00pm: The Addams Family (2019)
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 6:00pm: The Strangers
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 9:00pm: Hostel
  • Wednesday Oct 27th, 9:00pm: It Comes At Night
  • Thursday Oct 28th, 9:00pm: Orphan
  • Friday Oct 29th, 9:00pm: Quarantine
  • Saturday Oct 30th, 3:00pm: The Witches (2020)
  • Sunday Oct 31st, 3:00pm: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Sunday October 31st, 6:00pm: Evil Dead (2013)
  • Sunday October 31st, 6:00pm: The Ring
  • Sunday October 31st, 9:00pm: Blair Witch
  • Sunday October 31st, 9:00pm: Halloween 2018

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