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Biggest fiesta yet of 2008 hits town

Manchester squares up to entertaining us at FINA World Swimming Championships 2008

Published on April 3rd 2008.

Biggest fiesta yet of 2008 hits town

The 9th FINA World Swimming Championships 2008 will be showcasing a fine programme of FREE public entertainment that is shaping up to be…erm… square.

For the five days of the Championships Cathedral Gardens will be transformed into Championship Square, bringing the fun and excitement out of the competition venue at the MEN Arena and into the heart of the city for everybody to enjoy.

At Championship Square visitors will find a huge range of free activity, provided by the Championship sponsors, to add an extra dimension of entertainment, making the FINA World Swimming Championships a more special occasion.

Here are just a few of the things visitors can see, do and enjoy in Championship Square.

  • Visit the 80 years of Speedo exhibition and see how swimwear has changed over time

  • Listen and watch performances on the Championship Square Stage as we provide a mix of live music, activities and DJs thanks to Century FM and Pure

  • Discover more about Yakult and try its health benefits for themselves

  • Find out how to take the perfect picture with Nikon

  • Gaze up at the world’s biggest cereal box and try a bowl of Kellogg’s

  • Learn about how UK Sport support good causes and major sporting events through the National Lottery

  • Buy a special memento of their visit at the Speedo Merchandise Store
Championship Square will also feature an array of musicians and bands to celebrate the diversity of Manchester music during the FINA World Swimming Championships, as well as some hilarious, swimming-inspired street theatre.

Musical styles will range from the jazz related Cuban, Brazilian and funk sounds from bands such as Descarga, John Ellis and the Palm Trio, to the best of Manchester's singer-songwriter scene represented by Lucy and the Caterpillar, Josephine Niyama and Alexis McLean - to bluegrass, steel band and a'capella music.

Some of the UK’s best street theatre performers will be having a splashing time.

The Van Dunk Brothers, armed with a trunk full of trunks, swimming caps, goggles, armbands and verruca cream will delight crowds with their award-winning, dry land, synchronized swimming display. Meanwhile, The Fairly Famous Family's Lifeguards with flip-flops and whistles, perched high on their chairs, will attempt to impose the timeless values of the municipal baths onto the FINA World Swimming Championships.

Championship Square is open from: Wed 9–Fri 11 April, 11am–7pm; Saturday 12–Sunday 13 April, 10am–9pm.

And from square to spectacular, don’t miss the Opening Ceremony show of the FINA World Swimming Championships on Wednesday 9 April at the M.E.N. Arena. With music, aerial dance and performance, it’s a spectacular World Premier celebration, that’s been specially commissioned for this event. This special entertainment comes before the first night of finals and is included in the price of that evening’s ticket.

Using the MEN Arena at it’s dramatic best, this amazing show is themed to showcase swimming as theatre and will bring the FINA World Swimming Championships to life.

The Opening Ceremony starts at 6pm and ticket holders are advised to take their seats by 5.45pm).

For tickets please go to: www.manchester2008.com/tickets or call Ticketmaster: 0871 230 9864.

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