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Manchester set for picnic fever this weekend

Pack your basket and pray for good weather as the city rolls out its picnic blankets

Published on August 4th 2010.

Manchester set for picnic fever this weekend

Manchester will stage its biggest ever picnic as hundreds of people descend on the city centre for The Manchester Picnic this weekend. Organised by Cityco, Manchester’s city centre management company, the weekend of family-friendly fun will take place across the city centre from 6-8 August.

Piccadilly Gardens will become a picnic oasis for foodie families, with the grassed area transformed with benches and bunting. There will be 50 wooden picnic tables complete with red and white gingham table cloths and speciality market stalls selling picnic-style food.

There will be soup, cup cakes, deli stalls, an ice cream van, BBQ, pig roast and smoothie bar. Each day the first 1,000 people to buy from the market stalls will receive a limited edition eco bag. Virgin Active will also be on hand for free face-painting and other children’s activities.

Other specially themed picnic sites include St John’s Gardens near MOSI and the Roman Gardens at Castlefield. In addition, a Manchester Twitnic is being held at Spinningfields; the Triangle shopping centre will host an indoor Great British Picnic; Harvey Nichols’ will be running a Gourmet Picnic Garden all weekend and Barbirolli Restaurant and Bar will be hosting a BBQ near the Bridgewater Hall.

On Sunday 8 August, a Teddy Bear’s picnic for families with younger children will take place at Piccadilly Gardens with the Build-A-Bear Workshops, Bearemy making an appearance between 12pm and 4pm.

Specially produced maps, available from the sites and Manchester Visitor Centre in Piccadilly Gardens, will help picnickers find the designated sites with picnic benches and other open spaces including Cathedral Gardens, Sackville Gardens, Parsonage Gardens, China Town Pagoda, Piccadilly Basin, banks of the River Irwell, Castlefield Basin, Barbirolli Square and Pioneer Quay off Deansgate.

Councillor Pat Karney, city centre spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “This is going to be a really memorable weekend. It will be great to see Piccadilly and some of our other important open spaces full of families having fun. There is already a real buzz about the event and The Picnic Weekend is set to be a highlight of our city centre summer activity.”

Vaughan Allen, chief executive of Cityco, said: “A summer picnic is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. We hope as many people as possible will make the most of our family-friendly open spaces in the city centre this weekend. We have specially designed maps that will take people on an urban picnicking trail to discover some of our best places for relaxing in the city.”

The picnic areas will be open from 10am – 6pm all weekend.

To download the map visit www.piccadillymanchester.com. For more information on Cityco visit www.cityco.com

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