Award-winning winter lantern and light festival Lightopia has revealed a brand new area for 2020: A Local Heroes display dedicated to those on the frontline.
The Local Heroes walkway will be magically lit to reveal a rainbow display – with the words ‘Thank You’ lit up in front of the well-regarded symbol of 2020.
As a further token of gratitude, the Heaton Park festival is offering a Key Workers Discount Ticket – entitling essential workers to 20% off tickets.
Lightopia 2020 is set to feature a variety of new installations alongside a socially-distanced route for guests to explore (with wider footpaths, three entry points and direct access to two car parks).
Each creation has been designed by critically-acclaimed, contemporary artist Ava Moradi.
Commenting on the Local Heroes rainbow, Moradi said: “This area has a special focus on Key Workers. The NHS rainbow is an important symbol of 2020 and a strong reminder to people that the current situation has had an impact on people all around the world.
“This large-scale light installation is visually bright and stunning and will bring joy and happiness to those that visit it.
“Lightopia is a world in which light, sculpture and art combine with new and traditional Chinese lantern-making techniques, to create an immersive experience. This year, the new route has a real festive family-friendly feeling and a magical journey through lantern trails awaits!”
The main centrepiece of the festival is Lightopia’s Christmas showcase, which will take place against the Grade I-listed Heaton Hall.
Also new for 2020 is the Astronomy display; illuminating the night sky with its beautiful moon installation, an area dedicated to the Manchester Skyline and an immersive Musical City encouraging visitors to dance their way through the lights.
The popular Animals attraction will return, along with installations in the Discovery space and Woodland Fairytale area.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Friday 20 November until Sunday 3 January.
For those looking to plan ahead with friends and family this festive season, there are a limited number of tickets available for key workers, with a 20% discount off the standard ticket price, when using code ‘KEY20’ here.
One essential worker ID is required for entry, per party.
Standard advance tickets are priced at £20.00 for adults (or £22.00 on the day), £13.00 for children (or £15.00 on the day), and £60.00 for families of two adults and two children (£68.00 on the day). Children under three can go free. Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.
To book tickets, visit the Lightopia website. You can also follow the festival on Instagram and Facebook @lightopiafestival.
Key Workers included in the discounted ticket:
Health and social care
Frontline health and social care staff such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, as well as support and specialist staff in the health and social care sector. In addition, it includes those working in supply chains including producers and distributors of medicines and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
Nursery, teaching staff and social workers.
Key public services
Those required to run the justice system, religious staff, as well as those responsible for managing the deceased, and journalists providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
Administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services, including payment of benefits.
Food and other necessary goods
Those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food.
Public safety and national security
Police, support staff, Ministry of Defence civilian staff and armed forces personnel, fire and rescue staff, and those responsible for border security, prisons and probation.
Those who will keep air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the Covid-19 response.
Utilities, communication and financial services
Staff required to keep oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage operations running. Staff in the civil nuclear, chemical and telecommunications sectors. Those in postal services and those working to provide essential financial services.
RuPaul star Alyssa Edwards announces 2023 UK tour with Manchester date
RuPaul and Dancing Queen star Alyssa Edwards is coming to Manchester next year with her newly announced UK tour.
Edward’s critcally-acclaimed smash-hit show, Becoming Alyssa, The Life Story Of A Traveling Queen, is making it’s way over from America to the UK in May of 2023.
Becoming Alyssa is an epic, must-see, tell-all and dance-all story about her life growing up, her extraordinary drag career and incredible journey to finding love.
Alyssa – real name Justin Dwayne Lee Johnson – is an American entertainer, choreographer and television personality, best-know for appearances on appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race, America’s Got Talent and, of course, his own highly-pooular Netlfix series, Dancing Queen.
Becoming one of the most beloved characters to every grace the Drag Race back in 2012, Edwards following has continued to grow ever since, enjoying a sold-out run at the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End back in 2021, before embarking on a massive US tour spanning 31 different cities.
His previous tour, Entitled the Life, Love and Lashes, was a self-proclaimed “one-diva show” that pulled back the curtain to reveal some of Alyssa’s most intimate secrets and this latest iteration promises to go even further.
Having performed to droves of fans across Europe, Asia, as well as North, Central and South America, not to mention teaching dance classes back in his hometown of Mesquite, Texas at his award-winning dance studio, Beyond Belief Dance Company, you can expect Johnson’s show to non-stop action.
Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday, 2 December. You can buy them HERE.
Altrincham FC are hosting a celebrity football match to raise money for brave young cancer patient, Rio Spurr
Altrincham FC are holding a charity football match at their J Davidson Stadium to help raise funds for ayoung boy’scancer treatment and some famous faces are set toplay their part.
Parents Chloe and Thomas Spurr learned of their four-year-old son Rio’s cancer diagnosis earlier this year after a stomach ache that they thought was nothing more than constipation saw the poor little lad become violently ill just days later.
Following a visit to A&E, Rio’s mum and dad were left heartbroken as doctors found a “nasty lump” on his right kidney which turned out to be a Wilms tumour, a very rare type of kidney cancer that only affects around 80 children in the UK every year.
With the help of Altrincham and charity football match organisers Sellebrity Soccer, Chloe and Tom are doing their best to try and get him the help he needs.
Having been undergoing chemo and radiotherapy since April, as well as a four-hour surgery to remove the tumour, Chloe and Tom are now looking to try new treatments and clinical trials available overseas.
That’s why this fundraiser is so vital in ensuring this ‘Wilms Warrior’ gets the care he needs. Writing in the description of his GoFundMe, ex-pro father Tom says: “Rio is the most beautiful, courageous and special little boy and he deserves every possible fighting chance of surviving this cruel disease.
“We are SO proud of Rio! Beyond proud of both him and his little brother… They are both remarkable little boys! Rio has been through far too much already and a lot more to come but still, he continues to smile and sing his way through this hideous disease.”
Having heard about this little man’s inspiring battle, dozens of celebrities and notable names including Josh Ritchie, Dean Gaffney and James Arthur, as well as both current and former Alty players, are lacing up their boots to help raise money.
Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,700 incredible donors, the Spurr family have already raised over £78,000 of their £250,000 target and that’s the only goal we care about.
Better still, with ticket sales and concessions on the day, not to mention the chance to meet and greet the players in the VIP lounge before and after the game, the total fundraising amount is only going to get bigger.
These lot are doing Rio Spurr and his family proud and so can you.
For those of you who fancy coming to cheer on the celebs and show your support for little Rio on 11 December, adult tickets are £12, under 18’s just £7 and a VIP spot will cost you just £30.
You can buy tickets HERE and those remaining will also be made available for purchase on the day. Most importantly, all the proceeds will be going towards helping Rio and his family fight this. Entry to the historic Moss Lane ground starts from 3:30pm and kick-off is at 5pm.