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A Thank You Letter to Liverpool 2018

As the last chapter of 2018 draws to a close, Exploring Liverpool in 365 days has been one epic journey to say the least and we couldn’t be any prouder if we tried of our magnificent city! With so many highlights, what a time to be alive and living in a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and unites in any hour of need, Liverpool we love you.

After a decade on since Capital of Culture, Liverpool promised us all a year-long of unforgettable culture moments and events, it’s fair to say the place did not disappoint. Unmissable events and attractions where offered for all our hungry eyes to feast on, from music & drink festivals, Terracotta Warriors, Tall Ships, Cruise liners, Royal de Luxe giants to explosives firework displays! The list is endless, 2018 we hate to see you leave but boy 2019 our heart bursts with excitement for what you’re bringing.

Its certain to say we have been well and truly spoilt rotten when it comes to entertaining and representing, as well breaking some records along the way. Every month has tantalised our senses, offering and tending to every man and his dogs’ taste, where else is there a city like ours? Don’t fight us on this one! We could pull up a pew in one of the many historic backstreet pubs and converse in the many amazing things we have seen across this place we call home (pint in hand of course) so we have decided to put together a few of the breath-taking, heart racing sublime events that made 2018 a joy to EXPLORE!

Chinese New Year 2018

Millions of people welcomed in the year of the Dog in one of the most spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations to take part in Liverpool! The event kick started the China Dream Season and lit up the city across the month of February. From Chinese Lanterns cascaded across the City Centre streets to stunning Lumiere displays projected over China Town, the events amazed spectators. The main focus of the Chinese New Year seen a series of street performances, family workshops, shadow puppet theatre, parades and Chinese Markets.

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors

February seen the public opening of China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors at the Liverpool World Museum. Showcasing objects from one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the unmissable exhibition span almost 1,000 years of Chinese history. The exhibition included a number of objects that have never been on show in the U.K. before.

Feast of Fire

An atmospheric feast for the senses, Feast of Fire celebrated the close of the winter season and the beginning of spring. Taking us on a journey of discovery through a trail of amazing fire displays, fiery installations within the St John’s garden behind St George’s Hall, the spectacular event was not to be missed! Visitors had the opportunity to get up close and feel the heat of spectacular fire-fuelled sculptural installations as they promenade through the historic gardens. A live performance soundtrack and artisan, amazing food and drink, made this magnificent event a highlight on our list!

The Three Festivals Tall Ship Regatta 2018

The stunning Liverpool Waterfront was taken over by an international fleet of tall ships when The Three Festivals Tall Ship Regatta arrived in May.  The Iconic Docks became the starting point of the celebration region, the International Mersey River Festival and seen the waterfront come alive as thousands gathered to celebrate beautiful ships, soaring masts and miles of rigging. The event was the fifth time it had taken place in Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound City 2018

May seen the return of the spectacular music event Sound City! Making its hugely anticipated return to Liverpool, this music extravaganza kick-started the UK’s 2018 festival season into life. The festival is very much going back to its roots for its 11th year in a vibrant celebration of music and arts from around the world and much closer to home. Sound City embraced the spirit of the underground and seeked out the next generation of talent whilst showcasing some of the very best bands and performers of their era, set across the many intimate venues and electric spaces of Liverpool’s historic Baltic Triangle. Acts included DMA’s, The Slow Readers Club, Picture This, Idles, Wye Oak, Black Honey, Peace, Sunset Sons, Yellow Days, Baxter Dury, Jaws, Dermot Kennedy and many more music maestros!

Africa Oye 2018

Africa Oye the wonderful free festival, was an amazing weekend for all to enjoy. Known as the UK’s largest free celebration of African music and culture, this spectacular festival took place at its annual location, the beautiful Sefton Park, Liverpool.

Africa Oyé showcases and highlights the fantastic range of cultures, foods, music and artists, making this unique event a “must” to attend this year. The festival has played host to artists from nations rights across Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Popular additions to Oye is Salsa, Soca and Regga.

With over 40 stalls selling delicious food, drink, arts and crafts and fashion from Africa, it’s a great opportunity to take in some of the best roots music and indulge in all things African

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Eleven months after the spectacular voyage raised their masts and set sail, the Clipper 2017-2018 Round the World Yacht Race returned to the city! The Liverpool homecoming allowed spectators to come and witness the thrilling sprint to the finish in July at the Royal Albert Dock. Classed as one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other, it’s the only event on the planet which trains non-professional sailors to complete a 40,000 nautical mile race through some of Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions, with each team guided by a professional Skipper.

Liverpool witness history being made on Saturday 28th July when Australian sailor, Wendy Tuck, became the first ever woman to win a round the world yacht race after leading her Sanya Serenity Coast team to clinch overall victory in the Clipper 2017-18 Race!

LIMF

July seen LIMF take over the glorious Sefton Park for its 6th annual festival, showcasing world famous names alongside the best of new upcoming stars. With more than 100,000 music lovers visiting over the three-day event, LIMF did not fail to put on one sublime event! Over 70 artists including Jax Jones, Example, Basement Jaxx, Hacienda Classics, Wiley, DJ Jazzy Jeff as well as other household names performed live as part of this year’s unmissable line-up.

Liverpool Pride

David Munn Photography

As the celebrations and events prepared for Liverpool Pride, famous iconic buildings around the city proudly wore the trade mark colours of the rainbow. iconic buildings and venues that supported the campaign included Liverpool Football Club, St George’s Hall, Everyman Theatre, FACT, Liverpool Central Library, Mersey Gateway Bridge, New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion and many more across the city region.

Come Out of the Shadows aims to showcase Liverpool, both inwardly and outwardly, as an inclusive, diverse and tolerant LGBT+ friendly city, while at the same time helping to educate, raise awareness and normalise LGBT+ in all its forms.

Liverpool Pride has grown to become one of the city’s major annual events, with attendees enjoying two days of entertainment to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. With parades and other events full of fun, love and people brought together to celebrate as one.

Liverpool Food & Drink Festival

September let us Experience a foodie’s Paradise, with bespoke ingredients, independent brands, never-have-you-tasted-before-and-wouldn’t-ever-otherworldly flavours, & tips & tricks from the food Gods themselves, Liverpool Food & Drink Festival light up Sefton Park!

The fantastic festival let you wander through the explosive array of entertainment & culture at your feet allowing visitors to consume invigorating food & drink masterclasses, live tutorials lead by world-renowned, culinary doyens & some of Liverpool’s best local music.

Disney Magic Returns!

A magical garden wonderland sprinkled some magic around Princes Parade, complete with bandstand, magical street theatre and dance flash mobs by the Adam Brown Dance Company. Thousands of Disney Princesses and Princes lined the streets to celebrate and cheer on Mickey and his crew.

The Giants 2018

Most probably the event topper of the year, The Royal de Luxe brought along some old friends and new to celebrate the finale in the trilogy of the Giant Spectacular. Traveling a massive 20.6 miles across Liverpool and Wirral, the masterpiece was the final ever visit of the Giants anywhere in the world! The demand to see the show hit a record breaking 1.3 million people! All together the Giants and Xolo the adorable dog covered 21 miles on their weekend trip around Liverpool and New Brighton. From taking steps past the iconic Royal Liver Building to waking up at Fort Perch in New Brighton, some of the images taken for this spectacle have truly shown why there is no other city like the Liverpool City Region.

As the time has come for these incredible Giants to go into retirement, we can honestly say they have stolen our hearts and the memories of their visit will be spoken of for generations. From Big Giant to Little Girl Giant, to the debut appearance of The Little Boy Giant and the mischievous Xolo the Dog, thank you Royal de Luxe for letting your spectacular creations EXPLORE one magnificent city!

After the massive achievement of bringing the gigantic extravaganza Liverpool’s Dream to the city, Artistic Director Jean-Luc Courcoult and his team the Royal De Luxe have been awarded the prestigious civic honour, Freedom of the City.

River of Light 2018 – The Elements

Part of the finale of the China Dream season, Liverpool’s 2018 cultural programme seen a series of art installations cascade the city, based on the theme of the five elements. Chinese philosophy, which consists of water, fire, earth, metal and wood will be represented in different forms. The River of Light, represented the fire sign lighting up the breath-taking waterfront with a colossal firework display. Tens of thousands of people gathered together to line up the Liverpool Waterfront and New Brighton this November, while the spectacular display was set off from the water’s edge and huge barges floating on the Mersey, accompanied by a soundtrack played from key areas and venues.

The other four elements lighting up the city included The Wave (Water) forty triangular interactive gates, which had their own lighting and sound response to movement. Pool of Mirrors (Metal) a mixture of cutting-edge materials to create a metallic mirage in the canal, with the use of lasers and floating dichroic filters, the canal turned into an extraordinary light display. Also, a fire breathing Dragon made an appearance! Earth was represented by the iconic Liver Building was lit up in block colours of blue and green. Wood represented by six-metre-tall steel pipes bent to create the effect of a giant Oak Tree located Mann Island.

Liverpool Cathedral Welcomes Knife Angel

Liverpool Cathedral has become the home of The Knife Angel, a national monument against violence and aggression, representing a memorial to those whose lives have been affected by knife crime. Alfie has designed and created the artwork single-handedly at the British Ironworks Centre, which took over a year to build. The Centre provided knife banks for the amnesties with 43 police forces across the country involved.

Spending it’s Christmas in Liverpool, The Knife Angel was brought to the city by Campaign group #NoMoreKnives to raise the awareness of knife crime and send the message to make people stop and think about the damage that can be caused by carrying a knife.

With so many more events and attractions that we didn’t get around to mention, our round up in a nutshell alone is spellbinding what one great city has to offer! We hope you have enjoyed EXPLORING Liverpool as much as we have, Liverpool you have stolen our hearts and captured our minds, thank you.

P.S Lets make 2019 an unforgettable year…

READ MORE: Liverpool 2018 – 10th Anniversary Of Capital Of Culture

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