In an attempt to keep the festive spirit of the city alive, Manchester’s iconic Christmas celebrations have been re-created entirely out of lego.
Welcome to MINILAND.
After the cancellation of the city’s major festive events were sadly announced by Manchester City Council last month due to social distancing measures amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester has added “a little seasonal sparkle” to its miniature build of the city, introducing the much-loved Christmas markets, Santa Dash, ice-rink, and even a carol concert.
Built using 1.5 million LEGO bricks, MINILAND features Manchester’s most famous buildings, including the city’s town hall, Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Piccadilly train station, and of course the world-renowned Christmas markets.
And the festive fun doesn’t stop there either.
Aiming to brighten the city’s spirits even further, the leading attraction is also inviting all those craving a little seasonal joy to join them in switching on Manchester MINILAND’S Christmas lights at 6.30pm this Thursday 19th November live on Facebook.
Fans will have the opportunity to join LEGO Santa in pressing the button and lighting up the city’s skilfully recreated landmarks with twinkling fairy lights.
In a tribute to the NHS and support of the city’s virtual Christmas light switch on – which has been postponed until December – Manchester MINILAND even sees three members of the NHS stood in front of Manchester Town Hall, where the Christmas light switch on has historically been staged, ready to press the button.
A model remake of the annual Santa Dash also sees thirteen miniature figures – all wearing the famous red suit and modelled out of giant LEGO candy sticks – race towards the finishing line.
Christmas trees, model snowmen and LEGO decorations all adorn the mini cityscape too.
MINILAND Manchester has been impressively created by Master Model Builder James Windle and the project took over 50 hours to create.
He is one of only 25 Master Model Builders in the world.
Speaking on the festive miniature build, Stuart Jarman – General Manager Merlin Entertainments Manchester Cluster – said: “The absence of the Christmas markets and all the annual festivities to which we have become accustomed, whilst entirely necessary, have been felt by all this year.
“We wanted to do our bit to help raise festive spirits and share a little joy.
“What better way than with an alternative Christmas light switch on in Manchester MINILAND where you can get a taste of all that Manchester does best?
“We would like to invite anyone in need of some Christmas cheer to join us as we stream our alternative Christmas lights switch-on, as well as lighting up Manchester’s landmarks, we will also be unveiling some spectacular festive scenes at MINILAND, designed to celebrate some of the city’s best-loved Christmas traditions.”
You can tune into the MINILAND Christmas Lights Switch-On this Thursday at 6:30pm via the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester Facebook page here.