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50,000 people enjoyed the festivities last year, and King Street Festival returns this weekend to celebrate the city’s most iconic shopping street since the 1800s.

Expect a weekend filled with alfresco dining, live music, lawn games and family activities, historical tours, VIP shopping experiences, and the return of the prestigious Manchester Flower Show.

Events, exclusive discounts and competitions throughout the weekend from King Street’s stores, restaurants and bars include alfresco dining at Tast and El Gato Negro and gin tasting at Sam’s Chop House.

Plus I Love MCR® will be hosting its very own gin bar, and the popular King Street Cocktail Trail returns with a range of summer cocktails created especially for the festival at Arcane, El Gato Negro, Grand Pacific, Flight Club, Sam’s Chop House, Thomas’ Chop House, Tast, Miller & Carter, Kala and Mash Tun, priced at £5 each.

If you didn’t know already, I Love MCR® recently launched a pink strawberry jam gin in partnership with Mancunian jam makers F. Duerr & Sons. The ‘proper pink’ handcrafted Strawberry Jam Gin (38% ABV) is created in small batches in a custom made copper still at the City of Manchester Distillery.

At the I Love MCR® gin bar, which you can find outside El Gato Negro, you’ll be able to get a G&T mixed with pomegranate and basil Double Dutch Tonic, a sweet peanut butter and jam cocktail, or a sparkling gin and prosecco creation mixed just for the occasion.

King Street is home to over 50 stores, restaurants and hotels including Boodles, DKNY, Belstaff, Virgin Money Lounge, Jigsaw, Kiehls, Cath Kidston, Rosso, King Street Townhouse and this year’s festival travel sponsor, Kuoni, who will be giving away a luxury 5* holiday to Mexico.

Store activities include free tote bag making with ethical brand Patagonia on Lower King Street and complimentary shoe shining at Loake.

And with a big focus on family-friendly activities for 2019, there’s also lots to keep little (and big) kids busy from RHS Bridgewater’s floral crown making workshops to street theatre and giant Jenga and Connect 4.

This year’s festival, organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Manchester BID), also includes a special focus on Peterloo two hundred years on, with historic tours and talks, poetry and storytelling at the Manchester Histories Festival Soapbox.

And enjoy the sounds of summer live on the festival music stage with artists including Vivienne Lynsey, Yemi Bolatiwa, The Rubber Duck Orchestra, Helena Williams, Fifi La Mer, Harvey Brittain and Dee Olares.

Transforming King Street into a botanical paradise, the Manchester Flower Show will see balconies, lamp posts, bus stops, shop windows and parking bays bloom with flower power themed floral installations from the region’s best floristry, produce and gardening talent, including a bay from INNSiDE with CitiBlooms.

There will also be a market of gardening products, outdoor accessories and flowers including stalls from Tib Street’s award-winning Flourish and indoor plant specialist Nonsense.

Doubling in size this year and supported by RHS Bridgewater, the event pays homage to the original Manchester Flower Show which began in 1955 and returned to the city last year after a 15 year hiatus.

Must-see gardens and installations in the running for a coveted Manchester Flower Show rosette this year include a Magic Roundabout inspired garden, an iconic 1969 VW Beetle with a botanical twist, and a retro floral bedroom with a hippy John Lennon‬‬‬‬‬ and Yoko Ono‬‬‬‬‬ inspired ‘bed-in for peace’ garden with an edible floral bed.

There’s also a red rose carpet complete with models donning floral gowns and a Votes for Women garden inspired by the Suffragettes.

Plus keep an eye out for this year’s bicycle entries, new for 2019, which will be weaving their way throughout the festival.

King Street Festival takes place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June.

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