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Lightopia is returning to Heaton Park this Christmas with a bigger and brighter ‘fantasy’ festival

Christmas is going to be huge this year…

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Lightopia Festival

BIG Christmas news: Lightopia is coming back to Manchester, and it’s going to be bigger and brighter than ever before.

Okay, I’m well aware that it’s only July and we still have at least a month of summer fun left in us… But, after last year’s dismal, socially-distanced festive period I have decided that it is never too early for Christmas announcements.

For the last two years, Manchester’s Heaton Park has been graced with Lightopia, a festival of immersive lights, lanterns and mesmerising installations and, low and behold, it’s coming back for its third event.

Lightopia Festival

The never-before-seen illuminated trail will feature magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world.

Lightopia 2021 will feature a fantastical ‘Magic Circus’ display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment.

There will also be the ‘Fantasy Forest’, an area home to the most extraordinary and mystical animals to uncover. Guests will be able to walk through the enchanted forest and meet mythical creatures hidden in the woodland, including a nine tailed fox and unicorns.

Other attractions will include the ‘Fantasy Universe’ with a supernova display and bioluminescence plants; ‘Dragon’s Land’ featuring two huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies; ‘Candy Land’, a sweet-inspired illuminated dreamland; ‘Fantasy Bees’, the trademark Manchester’s bee brought to life in a fantasy world; and the ‘Wonders of the World’.

Lightopia Festival

Tickets will be on sale from July 28th but, if guests sign up to the pre-sale, they will get 20% off their ticket price. To sign up, visit the Lightopia Festival website here.

As for the finer details – Lightopia will be open to the public from November 19th 2021 until January 3rd 2022. The event will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, as well as Christmas Day.

To stay posted with any updates, make sure to follow Lightopia Festival on Instagram.

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There’s a FREE ’80s disco night with cocktails and live music coming to Manchester

Live DJs will be spinning classic anthems from the 1980s across the night

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Prestwich Social

The disco night to trump all disco nights is coming to Manchester this weekend with the promise of cocktails, dancing, and some good old fashioned nostalgia.

Prestwich Social will be bringing a taste of the ’80s to the popular Manchester suburb, which was recently named as one of the best places to live in the whole of the UK.

The 350-capacity bar and restaurant is nestled within the heart of Prestwich, and has become a firm favourite among locals thanks to its varied food menu, tempting deals and expansive list of unique and quirky cocktails.

Prestwich Social

And now, Prestwich Social has unveiled its brand new Social 54 ’80s Party Night, which will take place every Saturday night from 9:30pm til late.

The event is completely free to attend, and will include live DJs spinning classic anthems from the 1980s and a whole array of ’80s-themed cocktails, such as a boozy Ghostbusters-centric drink complete with sparklers, marshmallows and, of course, a giant figurine of the famous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Fancy dress is also encouraged, with free wigs, glasses and visors straight from the legendary nightclub era available to use and try on throughout the night. 

Prestwich Social is the only late-night bar in the neighbourhood, so the Social 54 ’80s Party Night is certain to be an evening to remember.

The first event is set to take place this Saturday (October 1st) from 9:30pm til late with free entry all night long.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to book a table, visit the Prestwich Social website.

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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

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The Night Market & Victoria Baths

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.

@victoriabaths / Instagram

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

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.

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A Pokemon bus is bringing Pikachu to the Trafford Centre for a treasure hunt art trail

Pikachu is coming to Manchester!

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The Trafford Centre

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 Trafford Centre

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.

The Trafford Centre

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.”

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