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CHRISTMAS AT HEATON PARK: LIGHTOPIA FESTIVAL RETURNS TO MANCHESTER THIS WINTER

Following its European debut in Manchester last year, Lightopia will return to Heaton Park with its award-winning and visually spectacular lantern and light festival.  Lightopia showcases unique interactive and immersive lights, lanterns and installations, with a magical illuminated trail that has been designed to maintain social distance from others. Presenting Christmas at Heaton Park, this year’s event will also feature new themes and creations to discover!

Lighting up Manchester this winter, and throughout the festive season, Lightopia 2020 will see new installations unveiled and a brand-new route for guests to explore. The new route has been designed to create a safe environment, where Lightopians are able to see the sights safely with friends and family; there will be wider footpaths to maintain social distancing, three entry points to reduce queuing and direct access to two car parks.

New themes to uncover include a stand-out Christmas showcase, which uses the Grade I-listed Heaton Hall as its sparkling backdrop – enjoy the most wonderful time of the year at Lightopia, as you pass by Santa’s sleigh, glistening snowflakes and make your own festive soundtrack with a giant interactive walking piano.

Lightopia will also host a brand-new area– a Local Heroes display, dedicated to those on the COVID19 frontline. The Local Heroes walkway will be magically lit to reveal a beautiful, colourful rainbow display, with the words ‘Thank You’ lit up in front of the well-regarded symbol of 2020. The large, heartfelt creation will make for the perfect photo backdrop for families and friends and a way for people to show their appreciation for all the city’s heroes during the pandemic.

Also new for 2020, is the Astronomy display; illuminating the night sky with its beautiful moon installation, other pieces include robotic controlled pads on the floor, which create light shows when stepped on and an interactive Zodiac Sign installation. There will also be 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, and much-loved installations from last year can be re-visited in the Discovery space. Children will be full of excitement as they enter the fairytale world of candy, flowers and characters at the Woodland Fairytale area, with some new captivating pieces featured in this illuminated wonderland.

The Lakeside water show will also play a key role in the exhibition, as a state-of-the-art projection creates a visual masterpiece, bringing the story of Lightopia to life; with a new production created for this year that reflects the Lightopia theme of discovery.

Shimmering walkways, lights and lanterns will guide the walkways, marking the route direction. And extraordinary dragon sculptures will lead the way to Lightopia’s food stalls and licensed bars.

Event goers will be fully immersed into the Lightopia narrative, exploring new experiences through each design, transporting visitors on a breath-taking journey of discovery into the beautiful world of art that surrounds them.

Ian Xiang, Creative Director of Lightopia, says: “We are excited to bring Lightopia back to Manchester, and have once again created a world in which light, sculpture and art combine with traditional, Chinese lantern-making techniques to create an immersive experience, full of light and stories.

We want our guests to become part of the Lightopia story, helping to create new forms of art as they interact and engage with the luminescent sculptures that trail through Heaton Park.”

Lightopia will be open to the public from Friday 20th November until Sunday 3rd January. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are closed. 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 festive season, tickets are available to purchase at www.lightopiafestival.com

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 www.lightopiafestival.com

Follow on Instagram and Facebook @lightopiafestival #Lightopia

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