Award-winning illuminations event Lightopia is returning to Manchester with a new Christmas Fantasy adventure at Heaton Park.
Featuring an illuminated trail with multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, Lightopia is back for its third successive year in Manchester in just a couple of months time, after a successful run in 2020. The popular event will bring a “fantasy festive world for family and friends filled with mythical creatures”.
The Grade I-listed Heaton Hall will play host to a Christmas Spectacular, with a 9ft bauble-inspired Christmas tree and an immersive stand-alone giant bauble for visitors to walk inside of.
Lightopia 2021 will also feature a fantastical Magic Circus display, complete with illusional installations and interactive entertainment as clowns, animals and magicians take charge of the night.
A giant Earth Flower will also be on display, which will be surrounded by 10 musical drums and powering a Field of Love with 50,000 hearts filling the floor.
A Time Travel zone will contain holographic time portals and a colourful time tunnel complete with digital interactions, whilst an enchanted Fantasy Forest will introduce visitors to mythical creatures hidden in the woodland, including a nine tailed fox and unicorns.
Lightopia 2021 will also be home Dragon’s Land featuring huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies; Candy Land – a sweet-inspired illuminated dreamland; Fantasy Bees – where iconic insects are brought to life in a fantasy world; and a Wonders of the World display with giant mirrored, glistening crystals and gems.
There will also be a Lakeside Water Show – a new fantasy production created especially for 2021.
Speaking ahead of the festival’s return to Heaton Park, Ian Xiang – Creative Director of Lightopia – said: “We are excited to bring a brand new concept to Manchester this winter, a fantasy world that has never been seen before. Lightopia 2021 will be a dream world adventure for families and friends to escape to this Christmas.
“We want our guests to become part of this new fantasy Lightopia experience, as they interact and engage with the luminescent sculptures that trail through Heaton Park.”
Ava Moradi – Creative Designer for Lightopia – added: “This year, Lightopia will bring new artistic illuminated displays with unique fantasy themed installations and light shows.
“My main focus as an artist is for this immersive light experience to bring happiness and joy; making this festive day out a go-to place for friends and family to celebrate together through the magical trail.”
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 18 November – Monday 3 January.
The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, and it will also close on Christmas Day.
Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8:30pm daily.
For those looking to plan ahead with friends and family this Christmas, you can sign-up for a 15% discount on your tickets via the Lightopia website.
Advance 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 attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.
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.