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Stockport’s giant frogs are returning this summer to raise money for St Ann’s Hospice

This will be great for the kids!

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Jonny Bentley 360 via totallysk/Twitter

This summer will see the Gigantic Leap Frog Art Trail take over Stockport town centre complete with 21 brand new frogs.

The town first welcomed the amphibious attractions two years ago including the Strawberry Frog outside the NatWest bank and the golden Midas at the Peel Centre.

Organised by Stockport’s Business Improvement District – known as Totally Stockport – the trail attracts thousands of visitors, families and residents to the town centre.

In 2019, the trail boosted footfall to the town by nearly over 20% in summer so there is big hopes for a huge leap into post-pandemic business!

As Stockport looks to ‘build back better’ this year’s Art Trail will see 21 brand new huge frogs hopping around the town centre.

Stockport BID manager Paul Taylor is really excited about the frogs, he said: “To say it’s been a difficult 12 months for everyone is the understatement of the decade.

“Having worked so hard over the past four years to promote all the great changes taking place here and encourage more people to visit the town centre more often, it’s been heartbreaking to see so many businesses forced to close during lockdown and the centre all but deserted.

“But it’s time to plan for the reopening of the town centre and what better way than with another brilliant trail that’s even bigger and better than before!”

In 2019, the auctioning of the frogs raised more than £3,000 for the Tree House Children’s ward at Stepping Hill Hospital.

This year, businesses have the opportunity to get involved and sponsor a frog with all proceeds being donated to St Ann’s Hospice. 

Councillor David Meller hailed the return of the frogs, he said: “I’m delighted that the frogs will be leaping back into Stockport! They certainly got everyone talking when they were last here, with people visiting from across Greater Manchester.

“The fact that they will be seen throughout the borough for even more people to enjoy is even better and will, we hope, get people hopping around the borough to sample everything we have to offer.”

The trail is set to begin in July and go on until the end of September. Find out more and how to sponsor here

 

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Manchester Arena Attack: Here’s how the city will commemorate the fifth anniversary this weekend

A number of events will be taking place in the city centre throughout the day

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pdjohnson / Flickr & @ranj82 / Instagram

Manchester is preparing for a day of remembrance this weekend to mark five years since the devastating Manchester Arena attack.

On May 22nd 2017, twenty-two innocent people lost their lives in the UK’s worst terrorist attack since the 7/7 bombings.

Today, the date stands as one of Manchester’s darkest days and, to mark five years since the tragedy, the city is preparing for a full line of up of remembrance events to remember those who lost their lives as well as those continuing to live with the disaster today.

Here is the full list of events outlined by Manchester City Council for the fifth anniversary commemoration this Sunday:

pdjohnson / Flickr

Glade of Light Memorial

The Glade of Light memorial, which was officially opened by Prince William and Kate Middleton last week, will offer people a place to pay their respects.

On the white marble ‘halo’ of the memorial, the names of the twenty-two victims of the attack are engraved, while personalised ‘memory capsules’ with letters and messages written by the bereaved families are embedded beneath.

Candlelit vigils at Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral will be hosting a number of sessions throughout the day, all of which include prayers, moments of silence and candle lighting.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester will attend the 5.30pm prayers and will lay flowers on the Glade of Light afterwards on behalf of the city.

Sessions will take place at 8.45am, 10.30am and 5.30pm, while bells will ring at 10.31pm to mark the exact moment the bombing took place.

‘A Manchester Story’ at Everyman Cinema

Everyman St John’s Cinema near Spinningfields will be showing the newly released A Manchester Story, a docu-film charting the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing.

A Manchester Story, directed by Anton Arenko documents the ‘untold stories’ that happened following the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. The film follows a variety of stories from people across the city and beyond.

All proceeds from the screening will go to the charity We Love MCR, which raises money and awareness for causes across Greater Manchester. Get your tickets here.

Wikimedia Commons

Tributes at Victoria Station

Tributes will be taking place at Victoria Station below the foyer, where the attack took place five years ago.

People will be given the chance to lay flowers and sign a memory book to commemorate the day with any thoughts, feelings or memories of the event.

Moments of silence will be held at 12pm and 10.31pm, while the station announcer will read out the names of those who lost their lives. The railway chaplain will also read a number of prayers.

The Great Manchester Run

This year’s Great Manchester Run has landed on the day of the anniversary, and will include a one-minute applause at the start of each wave of the run in remembrance of the twenty-two who lost their lives in the attack.

Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “22nd May 2017 is one of the darkest days in this city’s history. It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since those terrible events.

“We will never forget those whose lives were so cruelly taken, or those whose lives were changed forever that day.

“But nor should we forget the remarkable spirit shown in the aftermath of the attack as the city came together in solidarity, compassion and a refusal to give in to hatred and fear. Love proved stronger.”

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Hocus Pocus in Concert is coming to Manchester this year with a live orchestra

The Sanderson sisters are back…

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Disney & Kian Zhang / Unsplash

Fans of the Halloween classic Hocus Pocus will be able to enjoy the magic live in concert for the first time with the arrival of Hocus Pocus in Concert.

Billed as the ‘perfect Halloween treat’, the unique live show will be arriving at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall this autumn as part of its nationwide tour.

Hocus Pocus in Concert will feature a screening of the 1993 film along with a live performance by Emmy-winning composer John Debney’s musical score.

Disney+

The film tells the tale of the Sanderson sisters – played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy – a trio of witches who are accidentally brought back to life in Salem on Halloween night.

Following their revival, the sisters then attempt to steal the life essence from all of the town’s children so they can have eternal life.

However, they are outwitted by a young boy Max Dennison, his young sister, Dani, and his girlfriend, Allison, who are aided by Thackery Binx, a child who had been changed into a cat for trying to interfere with the witches centuries earlier.

Nearly two decades on from its release, Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween fans far and wide, and its latest musical instalment looks to fare no differently.

Ticketmaster

The tour will kick off in Glasgow on October 23rd, with other dates scheduled for Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 25th, London’s Eventim Apollo on October 26th and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on October 28th.

The show’s second performance will be at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on October 24th.

Pre-sale tickets are available from Disney Tickets today, while general sale will begin on Ticketmaster from 10am on Friday, May 20th.

Get your tickets here.

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N-Dubz are reuniting with new music and a huge Manchester gig

Nearly a decade on, N-Dubz are back…

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N-Dubz

N-Dubz are making a much-awaited comeback ten years after their split with a new single and nationwide arena tour.

The trio rose to fame in 2007 with hits like ‘I Need You’, ‘Ouch’ and ‘Playing With Fire’, but announced their split just a few years later in 2011, with singer Tulisa Contostavlos blaming bandmate Dappy for being the reason of the break up.

But now, over a decade on, it has been announced that the band are making their comeback with their new single ‘Charmer’, set to be premiered on BBC 1 Xtra on Thursday evening.

A spokesperson for the band said: “‘Charmer’ is instantly recognisable as an N-Dubz song, featuring their trademark storytelling via the slick raps of Dappy and Fazer, alongside the sassy vocals of Tulisa.”

And along with the news of their new single, it has also been announced that N-Dubz will be embarking upon a nationwide arena tour, with them scheduled to play ten shows across the UK, including at Manchester’s AO Arena.

Speaking of the tour, a source close to the band told The Sun: “It’s going to be massive. They have seen all the success other groups have enjoyed coming back and want a piece of the action.

“They have been trying things out in the studio for ages but finally things have fallen into place.”

The Back To The Future tour will begin on November 7th in Newcastle, and finish in Manchester on Saturday November 19th. 

Other locations during the tour include Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Tickets will go on sale from 10am on Friday May 20th. Get yours here.

N-Dubz consists of rappers Dappy, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, his cousin Tulisa Contostavlos and Fazer, real name Richard Rawson.

The band have won four Mobo awards, including best newcomer in 2007, Best Album and Best Act in 2009 and Best Song in 2010 and were nominated for the Brit award for Best British Single in 2010.

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