More updates have been revealed about this year’s Blackpool Illuminations, with Johnny Vegas confirmed to be switching the lights on.
The legendary North West actor and comedian will pull the switch this year, at the end of a live concert in The Tower Ballroom on Friday September 2nd.
Johnny, from St Helens, will kickstart four months of bright and wonderful illuminations at the seaside resort as summer comes to an end.
People wanting to attend this year’s Switch-On concert had to enter a free-to-enter ballot, with 2,000 tickets up for grabs – the ballot has now closed, but there will be a limited number of golden circle tickets going on sale later this month, ITV reports.
The concert will be headlined by Blue, while singer-songwriter Tom Grennan and Mae Muller are also performing.
Both the concert and the Switch-On moment will be livestreamed across the MTV and VisitBlackpool channels, and event organisers are considering streaming it to an outdoor audience on the Tower Festival Headland.
Johnny said: “As a Northerner through and through, it is a real honour to be asked to switch on the iconic Illuminations. I have a great affection for Blackpool and am really looking forward to the big night in the Tower Ballroom.”
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce Johnny Vegas as this year’s Switch-On star.
“Down the years, he has been a true ambassador for Blackpool and his love of the Illuminations is obvious.
“This year, we are delighted to invite him back to do the real thing in front of a worldwide audience.”
Head over to the Switch-On event website here to find updates on timings and tickets, with winners of the free ballot tickets set to be notified over the coming weeks.
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!”