Lightopia is officially returning to Heaton Park for a new, socially-distanced edition of adventures, lights, lanterns, sculptures and shows this December.
Following the UK government’s announcement that England’s national lockdown will end on 2nd December, Lightopia – which was originally due to open on 20th November – is now to open its award-winning and visually spectacular lantern and light festival at Heaton Park on Thursday 3rd December, and extend its run all the way through until Sunday 10th January.
The event will be also now be open every day, except Christmas Day.
With Christmas very much the theme for this year’s light and lantern festival, Lightopia will use the stunning Grade I-listed Heaton Hall as its sparkling backdrop for all its festive merriment, and will feature a 10-metre illuminated Christmas tree.
Ticket holders whose booking has already been affected by lockdown restrictions have been informed directly and advised on all their options – including moving their booking to another date in December, or being offered a refund – and Lightopia is currently working with local authorities in accordance with government guidelines to create its socially-distanced festive spectacular.
This year’s event showcases unique interactive and immersive lights and lanterns, with new installations and a brand-new route for guests to explore for 2020.
The new route has been designed to create a safe environment where visitors are able to see the sights safely with friends and family, and there will be wider footpaths to maintain social distancing, a one-way system, three entry points to reduce queuing, and direct access to two car parks.
Lightopia has also implemented a series of further measures to ensure all steps are taken to keep visitors safe, and these include:
NHS Test and Trace: QR codes will be displayed at multiple locations on the trail.
Social Distancing: This shall be mandatory at the event at all times.
One Way System: The Lightopia trail is one direction only.
Pre-booked Tickets Only: Trail tickets are only available to prebook online.
Contactless Ticket Scanning: All ticket scanning will be contactless on entry to the event.
Card Payments Only: Vendors and car parks will only accept card payments.
No Alcohol: Following latest government guidance no alcohol is permitted onsite.
Quick Food and Drink: All food & drink on the trail will be takeaway only.
Hand Hygiene: Hand sanitising stations will be located throughout the trail.
Increased Cleansing: All facilities, surfaces and touch points will be cleaned regularly.
Increased Stewards: Increased number of stewards on our route to manage social distancing and assist with any visitor queries onsite.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 3rd December – Sunday 10th January (except for Christmas Day) and opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm daily.
Advance pre-booked tickets are priced at £20 for adults (or £22 on the day), £13 for children (or £15 on the day), and £60 for families of two adults and two children (£68 on the day).
Children under three can go free.
Essential carers of disabled visitors can also attend the event for free, with the disabled visitor paying the normal admission fee.
There are also a limited number of tickets available for key workers – with a 20% discount off the standard ticket price when using code KEY20 – plus, the 20% discount is applied to all tickets in the online basket.
One essential worker ID is required for entry, per party.
The festival will also launch a Wheel of Light for Black Friday with special prizes to be won from Wednesday 25th November – Sunday 29th November, and you can head to the Lightopia website to spin the Wheel of Light and be in with a chance of winning 25% off tickets, a VIP tour for two, and many more prizes (T&Cs apply).
You can book your tickets and find more information via the Lightopia website here.
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.