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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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Hot Wheels interactive experience hosting its first-ever European event in Trafford

This will be mint!

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Hot Wheels City Experience

A Hot Wheels interactive experience is coming to Trafford Park this summer, the first time the event has ever taken place in Europe.

Coming from Live Nation, BeFUN, and Mattel, the Hot Wheels City Experience is heading to the B.E.C Arena in Trafford Park this August, making its European debut as it brings the legendary toy cars to life.

Spanning a series of immersive stations and interactive activities, the event will have something for families and devoted collectors alike.

Hot Wheels City Experience


The 6,000 square metre experience will let fans step through a nostalgic and educational journey consisting of 10 stations, including a design centre, immersive museum, playground, gamer zone and Hot Wheels Lab.

Fans will go on a journey through the colourful world of Hot Wheels, starting with an introductory video which will take a deep dive into the history and culture of the brand.

Luís França / Hot Wheels City Experience


The next station features an immersive museum and expo where visitors will get to see the best of the Hot Wheels collections – including graphics with the history of Hot Wheels, classic arts of the brand, and the Hot Wheels legendary life-sized cars. 

There’s also the Gamer Zone, where gamers can show off their skills, the Design Centre, where the latest technology is used to introduce colour and graphic projection onto virtual cars, and a Digital ‘build your car’ and painting workshop where fans can create and have their work emailed to them or projected on the walls.

Hot Wheels City Experience


Lastly, the Hot Wheels Lab will let guests play with the most popular Hot Wheels toys, including giant tracks and pre-built racecourses – with the opportunity to win prizes.

The Hot Wheels City Experience opens its doors on August 13th and runs until September 12th 2024, with presale tickets launching at 10am next Wednesday, April 24th – sign up for pre-sale HERE.

On-sale tickets will be available at 10am on April 26th, starting from £27.50 for adults and £22.50 for children – head here for more info.

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Epic indoor inflatable park reopens with huge new ball pit filled with nearly half a million balls

Take advantage of the discount while it’s still available

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@inflatanation / Instagram & Inflata Nation

A Greater Manchester indoor inflatable park has reopened after a revamp revealing the addition of a huge new ball pit filled with nearly half a million balls.

Inflata Nation has reopened its doors in Trafford Park after undergoing a renovation, revealing some exciting new features for visitors to enjoy.

If you’re wondering what you can do to keep the kids entertained, why not take them to this newly upgraded indoor park?

Inflata Nation

An incredible blue ball pit filled with 418,000 balls looks like an ocean as it floods the open space. Other new features include the epic double tipping slide, a ballcano, ball pit blasters and obstacle courses.

The park has also upgraded its mini arena, which is exclusively for children under four.

Packed with ball pits and engaging soft play activities, this area offers sensory stimulation and opportunities for cognitive development, tailored specifically for the little ones, the park says.

@inflatanation / Instagram

Since opening back in 2017, the site has attracted thousands of visitors looking for fun-packed family days out. 

Visitors have jumped into its ball pits, bounced on its inflatables and dived down its slides, where they’ve enjoyed plenty of fun and laughter that has brought them back time and time again.

Tickets for Inflata Nation Manchester cost £13.99 for visitors aged four and above and £6.99 for under fours. You can add an extra hour for £8.50 and £3.50 respectively. The park is also offering 15% discount of all visits when booked in advance online until April 17th.

To get the discount simply head to the booking panel on the website, choose the location, complete your details and enter the correct discount code at checkout. For Manchester use the code: EASTERMANC. For discount on bookings and more information, click HERE.

Inflata Nation Manchester is located on Textilose Road, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1WA. 

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Charity pop-up with up to 70% off designer clothes coming to King Street

Funds will be used to help women looking for employment support

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Smart Works Greater Manchester

A sustainable charity fashion pop-up is coming to Manchester’s King Street this month.

The pop-up marks the first event as part of a new concept ‘King Street Presents’ and will feature some of the best and newest names in fashion including the likes of Adanola, Barbour, Nobody’s Child, Pretty Lavish, Rixo, Saint & Sofia, Whistles and more.

Shoppers can enjoy up to 70% off items with all proceeds raised being donated to the female-founded charity, Smart Works.

Smart Works Greater Manchester

Smart Works Greater Manchester can be found at 35 King Street from Thursday, April 18th to Saturday 20th, with its sustainable fashion pop-up shop, selling brand new high street, designer and pre-loved clothing and accessories.

The pop-up will raise vital funds to support Smart Works’ two Greater Manchester centres, in Manchester city centre and Stockport.

The team will also be on hand to provide advice and guidance on how to access their free services to any women looking for support in finding employment and preparing for job interviews.

During its time on King Street, Smart Works will share the postcode with its roster of high- profile tenants which include; GAIL’s artisan bakery, The White Company, El Gato Negro restaurant and vintage football shirt hotspot, Stunner, to name just a few.

Smart Works Greater Manchester

Thomas Royston, director at DTZ Investors, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Smart Works Greater Manchester to King Street. At its core is a female founder on a purpose-led mission to make a difference to women. 

“For them to choose King Street as their platform for reaching and showcasing their offering and commitment to women across Manchester is a testament to the reputation this now renowned street has developed in recent years. 

“As part of our ongoing ESG policy we will be continuing to work with a selection of exclusive brands throughout 2024 to take up pop-up stores in currently vacant units on the street, enriching the retailer experience for visitors and giving a physical presence to out of area and online brands.”

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