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Xmas Lights at Barton Square

SPARKLE: At Barton Square.

Well, I think The Trafford Centre has really excelled itself this year with the brand new Christmas lights. What do you think?

They really are the most stunning I’ve ever seen here!

After a fantastic switch on event with X Factor favourite Ollie Murs, everyone around the Centre has been getting used to the new festive outfit adorning every inch of the place.

With lots of time and effort put into this new lights scheme, the designers have done something very new, with the UK’s first-ever animatronic displays creating a dance of light and movement at every turn.

Xmas Lights on the Malls.

Baubles: Dangling on the Malls.

Huge Christmas baubles hang from the atrium of each mall, gently opening and closing to reveal bright, spinning Christmas trees at their centre.

Wreaths of lights decorate the Orient, with gorgeous Christmas trees twinkling away merrily. Every palm tree and every lamp-post it seems is drenched with thousands of bulbs – which are now greener LED bulbs which use far less energy than the old-fashioned bulbs the Centre used to display.

The old favourite talking Christmas tree is back on Lower Peel Avenue, and last year’s highlight the Ferrero Rocher installation in the Main Dome is back – and looking as amazing as ever.

You really can lose yourself staring upwards at that gravity-defying sculpture.

Over at Barton Square we have the multi-coloured conical Christmas trees which are my favourite, I would dearly love one in my own garden. Then the magical Ice Palace grotto takes pride of place in the Square, alongside the classic Victorian Carousel and festive stalls. It’s Christmas wherever you look!

Xmas Lights in the Orient

SLEIGH: In the Orient sky-ceiling.

I’ve gathered some fun facts about the new lights to delight and amaze you – but there is no comparison for coming down and taking a look yourself. Why not bring your camera, and take some fab photos for friends and family elsewhere in the world, to show them how we do it in style at The Trafford Centre? Remember to look up while you’re in the Orient, to spy Santa and his sleigh streaking through the sky!

Let me know what you think of our Christmas lights – any favourites?

Light Fantastic Facts!

WOW – 30,000 Christmas baubles from Finland have been hung around the Centre

GEMS – More than 6,500 sparkling jewels will be glittering into the New Year

CRYSTAL – 5,000 crystal droplets have been polished for the display

HOLLY – 58,000 holly leaves have been used

LIGHT – 280,000 LED light bulbs will shine, using a third of the electricity of the old tungsten bulbs

HUGE – In all, the Centre has strung up more than 10,000m of lights

GOLD – 300m of gold-plated poles hold the decorations in place

ICE – 3000 icicles sprout from balconies and stairways

GIANT – 1,000m of Christmas garland will be used

CRAFTED – The enormous 10 metre Christmas tree has 1,100 branches, individually applied!

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IN DANGER: The wild lion.

The Trafford Centre likes its lions. You can see that from the array of marble beasts which guard the Centre at various entrances, especially outside The Great Hall.

But did you know that real lions are in serious danger of extinction? Fifty years ago there were around 200,000 lions in the wild – today, there are barely 20,000 remaining.

That’s a drop of 90% in wild lion populations – a shocking decline that makes some experts worry this proud creature might never recover without urgent and international help.

Thankfully, someone cares enough to do something about this. Lionaid is a new charity set up to bring attention to the plight of these large cats in Africa.

To drum up attention, and to show what the world might be like without lions, the charity is taking on a massive UK tour of prominent public lions, and shrouding them in black material as a thought-provoking reminder of how these amazing creatures could easily disappear into history.

The “Where Have all the Lions Gone?” campaign begins today (March 1st) in Glasgow and ends on the 31st March in Trafalgar Square – with 11 UK cities in between (Blantyre, Blackpool, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Norwich, Birmingham, Bath, Cowes, Portsmouth and Rochester).

So at 10am on March 7th, the Lionaid crew and their local supporters will be at The Great Hall near Regent 13 car park, to hold a solemn ceremony in which 8 of our lovely lions will be temporarily shrouded.

Click to visit Lionaid online.

Come down to the shrouding ceremony, or click on the Lionaid logo to visit their website for more information, and clear instructions on how you can get involved.

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THE builders are busy this week, preparing for the grand opening of the new Kro Bar, in The Great Hall.

If you are a local, you can’t help but have noticed this award-winning Danish dining and drinking experience, as it already has high-profile branches in the city centre.

We knew it wouldn’t be long before their bold, contemporary and stylish bars were headed our way to The Trafford Centre – and lo and behold, they have taken the last empty space in The Great Hall, behind The Orient. This luxury dining space has really put itself on the gastronomic map, with it’s Carluccio’s Italian spot, and the incredibly popular Las Iguanas.

CHIC: The Piccadilly Kro Bar.

CHIC: The Piccadilly Kro Bar.

The newcomer will create 60 jobs here at the Centre – so if you fancy your hand as a Kro member of staff, why not pop down to our Jobcentre near the bus station for an application pack?

Diners can expect a delicious range of Danish-inspired foods, and the great draught and bottled beers for which the brand has become famous, all in a super-chic atmosphere. The other Kro bars I know also stock newspapers, so I hope that’s something the new place adopts too.

The property team here at the Centre are over the moon to have secured this new deal, especially as Kro is truly a local firm, and really fills out The Great Hall with a funky new offering.

The venue is set to open next month, and your Mall Rat will be one of the first over the threshold to sample their Nordic wares!

LOVE Kro? Tell me about it!

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WE’VE been having great fun here in the marketing department, getting everything ready for our VIP Denim and Diamonds fashion show next week.

Thursday 10th September

Thursday 10th September

I sourced a fantastic cocktail recipe for our guests, a Diamond Champagne cocktail that contains a sugar cube and Angustora Bitters in the bottom of the flute, which should create a bit of sparkle. Eight hundred of those will certainly keep our catering staff busy for the evening!

We’ve even had hundreds of Denim and Diamonds souvenir swizzle sticks printed, so each customer has a little something to remind them of the evening.

The Denim and Diamonds theme aims to show how grit can meet glamour, as workaday denim is married to high-class crystal adornment. It’s the latest look, and absolutely anyone can pull it off. Even the gents (you should see my sparkly cuff links!)

We also had a nice idea to give away a real diamond on the night, so one lucky person is going to walk away with a chunk of ‘ice’, courtesy of the generous folk at Goldsmith’s the jewellers.

And today, while we were walking around The Great Hall working out where to put beauty stands and cocktail tables, we’ve had some great ideas on how to dress the space with denim. You’ll have to come along to see how we do this – but along with the Diamond dancers we’ve organised, nobody should be in any doubt as to the theme of the show!

This is one of the highlights of the calendar at The Trafford Centre, and the staff here tend to get very excited at the prospect of hundreds of glamorous people descending to watch a breath-taking show. I’ll be sitting near the front with the lovely fashion writers from the local media – look for the fella in denim and diamonds!

The brilliant Chelsea Norris from Key 103 will be hosting the Main Stage, and she’ll be introducing collections from stores like Vivienne Westwood, DKNY and Calvin Klein. We’ve also booked the Red Hot Strings for a bit of entertainment, because they were so good at our 10th Birthday party last year.

If you fancy coming, we still have a few tickets left – just click here for details. Just be quick, as uptake this year has been phenomenal.

If you can’t make it (and why on earth not?) we’ll be revealing how everything went on our YouTube channel after the show.

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