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Manchester’s first ever Christmas Parade is coming to town next month

Make sure you don’t miss this!

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A festive first for Manchester is happening this year, with the announcement that our city is holding its first ever Christmas Parade. 

The magical parade will be filled with all things Christmas, and will weave its way through the streets of the city centre to bring some extra special Christmas cheer.

Building on the success of the city’s world-famous Manchester Day Parade – which after starting small back in 2010 now regularly sees thousands of people flock to the city to watch it – the inaugural Manchester Christmas Parade will take place on Sunday December 11th.

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Working in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District and outdoor art experts, including Walk the Plank, Global Grooves, Handmade Parade and others, the city’s first-ever Christmas Parade promises to delight young and old.

With well over 100 parade participants, spectators will see everything from Jacks of Frost and Fairy stilt-walkers, an Arctic Fox, and runaway Christmas Presents, to Cocky Robins, Glowing Gastropods with elf riders, and a never-before-seen Christmas Toy Procession.

Also making a special appearance in the parade will be the Town Hall Clock, wound up and looking its very festive best.

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Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “Nowhere else does a parade quite like Manchester and and we can’t wait to bring the first-ever, not-to-be-missed Manchester Christmas Parade to Santa’s favourite city.

“Of all the places in the world that Santa could have chosen for this magical festive first, Manchester is the obvious choice. 

“It’s going to be fabulous and we can’t wait!”

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Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square added: “We’re delighted to be involved in what will be Manchester’s first official Christmas Parade!

“As well as being a huge draw for families, it’s also a fantastic headline event for our programme of Festive Sundays which will see sparkling street performers including illuminated bands, roaming puppets, stilt-walkers, supersized penguins and more, take to the city’s main shopping streets for six consecutive Sundays during November and December.”

Starting at 1pm on Sunday December 11th, the Manchester Christmas Parade will head down Deansgate, St Ann’s Street, Cross Street and St Mary’s Gate.

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An all-you-can-eat cheese party is coming to Manchester for Valentine’s Day

Calling all cheese lovers!

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A pub in Manchester is doing an all-you-can-eat cheese party to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Pie and Ale, based in the Northern Quarter, will be hosting this very cheesy evening in collaboration with Homage 2 Fromage, on Thursday February 16th at 7pm – 9.30pm.

The Leeds-born cheese tasting company will be laying out a selection of cheeses decked out on slabs in a help-yourself buffet style, called ‘Cheese of Love’ – perfect for lovers of the creamy delight.

The event promises to showcase a selection of ‘eight sexy, sultry, sensuous cheeses’ with some ‘soft and yielding’ and others ‘big and strong’, and a serving of the molten good stuff to make an appearance amongst the layout also.

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You can have your fill as the portions of cheesy goodness will be unlimited for the two and half hours.

You’ll be needing something to wash it all down with, and at Pie and Ale you can also get stuck into a large selection of ales and craft beers, with six rotating cask ales, craft lager and beer on tap, and plenty of cans and bottles to choose from in the fridge.

Put together by Nick and Vickie, who created Homage 2 Fromage in 2011 after a random conversation on Twitter, the event will be a laid back and casual evening where you can take someone special and indulge in a pungent banquet together while sipping on some good ales.

Tickets cost £40 for a table for two and drinks are not included in the price. You can purchase tickets here.

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Biddulph Grange: The unique garden where you can walk through Ancient Egypt, China and Italy in a day

You can explore Ancient Egypt, China and Italy all in one walk.

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© National Trust Images/John Miller & Mike Peel/Wikimedia
© National Trust Images/John Miller & Mike Peel/Wikimedia

Biddulph Grange is a unique garden where visitors can walk across continents all in one day.

Based at Biddulph Grange Country Park in Staffordshire, this unusual National Trust landscape is a real hidden gem and has even been coined as a ‘horticultural Disneyland’.

Right near the border of Cheshire, the ‘playful paradise’ was designed by horticulturist and British landowner James Bateman after moving there in 1840, and offers a quirky masterpiece for all to enjoy. He lived there with his wife Maria for 27 years, and developed the masterpiece with her help and that of his friend, painter Edward William Cooke.

While exploring the fascinating grounds of the Grade-II listed garden, you can climb its 400 steps, pass by stone sphinxes, before you come across a bright red Chinese pagoda by a lake, and stumble upon a tiered Italian-style garden.

© National Trust Images/John Miller

Walkers can take a step back in time — or all 400 of them — through a Tudor-style cottage and a Victorian garden, which overlooks the valley. Featured gardens include:

The China Garden

Bright reds and trimmings of gold make this little piece of an oriental haven stand out from the crowd. It even has a joss house, a tower and a ‘Great wall’ all of its own.

The Egyptian Garden

Walk through a tomb-like tunnel where a grand stone temple doorway bears an image of the sun god Ra along with four stone sphinxes, surrounded by clipped yew.

© National Trust Images/John Miller

The Italy Garden

It features a series of magnificent trickling terraces, one after the other, in an Italian style. 

The incredible terraces are packed with plants from around the world – it might be Italian in style, but Italian plants apparently don’t grow well on a wet and windy English hillside.

The Stumpery

Here is where old tree stumps are used as makeshift scaffolding for climbing plants and is the oldest stumpery in the country. It has even been copied by Prince Charles’ home in Gloucestershire.

The Cheshire Cottage

This Tudor-style cottage dates back to 1856 and its facade includes the initials of James and his wife Maria.

The National Trust has drawn possible links between the Cheshire Cottage and Queen Victoria’s famous Swiss Cottage, which she built for her nine children around the same time.

In Bateman’s time, the cottage would have been the commanding focus surrounded by small trees – now it’s dwarfed by towering conifers.

© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

More than just acres of stunning garden grounds, Biddulph Grange also has a Geological gallery, with a ‘unique Victorian display of fossils and geological strata laid out according to the Biblical days of creation’ — offering a ‘fascinating journey through time’.

There is also a woodland adventure play area, with see-saws, climbing frames and balancing beams — great for the young ones with plenty of energy to burn. Afterwards, you can wind down and take it all in at the tea rooms, where hot and cold food is served fresh daily.

Biddulph Grange is open from 10am to 3.30pm, Saturday to Wednesday, throughout January. Tickets for adults cost £12 and £6 for children.

It’s between 45 minutes and an hour to drive to Biddulph Grange Garden from most parts of Greater Manchester. You can also get to it by taking the train to Congleton then a short bus ride on the 94 service to St Lawrence’s Church.

You can find out more about Biddulph Grange Garden at the National Trust website here.

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An all-new Hot Wheels Monster Trucks ‘Glow Party’ is coming to Manchester this weekend

The kids will love this!

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The all-new Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party will be coming to Manchester this weekend.

Fans of all ages will be left dazzled at the family friendly event, as they watch the iconic trucks light up the floor, which showcases at the AO Arena on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.

This one-of-a-kind, high-energy Glow Party experience will see huge rip-roaring trucks rolling onto the floor to hold outrageous competitions and battles.

The thrilling new experience brings audiences the only opportunity to watch their favourite Hot Wheels Monster Trucks – Mega Wrex™, Tiger Shark™, Boneshaker™, Bigfoot® and more, plus the all-new Gunkster™, as they light-up the room.

Sarah Rhodes/Rhodes Media

Event performances will also feature spectacular laser light shows, exhilarating dance parties, and Hot Wheels toy giveaways. 

Plus, a special appearance from the car-eating, fire-breathing transforming robot, Megasaurus, and the electrifying high-flyers of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live, Freestyle Motocross.

An exciting Crash Zone Pre-Show Party will be held before every performance, providing fans access to the competition floor to see the outrageous designs and epic size of Monster Trucks along with autograph signings from the drivers and performers.

Sarah Rhodes/Rhodes Media

Each ticket includes an autograph card plus a souvenir pass and lanyard exclusive to Crash Zone attendees.

Senior Vice President Touring, International Music, Live Nation, Tim McWilliams said: “We are thrilled to be embarking on our third UK tour of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live.

“As the world’s largest live-entertainment company, we are part of many incredible shows, but Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live provides a new dimension in family entertainment that never fails to impress. 

“We can’t wait for these shows so we can all join the Glow Party.”

Ken Hudgens, CEO of Family Entertainment Live, added: “With the success of the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party thus far, we’re excited to continue the amazing experience into 2023, both in the United States and internationally.”

Special children’s pricing is available for all shows providing great value for the whole family. 

There’s four shows over the weekend, and you can grab tickets here: Saturday 14th 11:30am; Saturday 14th 6:30pm; Sunday 15th 11:30am; Sunday 15th 6:30pm.

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