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Funfairs and street parties - celebrate as First Street becomes our newest neighbourhood

Rob Martin

It's all go down on First Street.

With HOME now officially open, as well as the Innside Hotel, First Street is fast turning into one of the city centre's must visit areas.

The first production by HOME, 'The Funfair', opens tonight. This adaptation of a play by by Ödön von Horváth has been written by Stockport's brilliant Simon Stephens, who did such a brilliant and award-winning job at adapting 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' to the stage. Featuring a live band, a freak show and a big dipper, it should be no ordinary play!

This is followed by the opening of HOME's first exhibition, 'The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things' which opens of Friday May 22.

Then on Sunday May 24, head over to First Street for a massive street party, celebrating how far the £500 million development has come on.

The event, which coincides with the venue’s HOMEwarming weekend, will see Tony Wilson Place transformed into a contemporary street party complete with long communal tables and a bandstand, featuring a line-up of performances, alongside a rooftop garden party with sets from some of Manchester’s finest DJ’s on the roof of Q-Park First Street.

Here's what's happening.

Street Party - Tony Wilson Place
Roaming performers and games including giant Jenga and giant chess will keep older children entertained while younger party goers should be fascinated by The World’s Tallest Bubbleologist’s magical bubble shows.

From 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm, families can enjoy a free three minute performance of Talking Birds’ 'The Whale' – a gleaming silver whale-on-wheels that holds a witty, charming and child-friendly show, with spectators entering the jaws of the gentle giant to witness an unforgettable performance. HOME itself will also be hosting a variety of family friendly activities including storytellers, fun workshops and family-focused building tours and there’s a chance to meet Meggie, the heroine from 'Inkheart', HOME’s 2015 family Christmas show.

Calaita Flamenco Son

Music lovers should grab a spot close to the bandstand where the Pantonic All Stars Steel Orchestra will be starting things off with a bang at 11am. One of the oldest brass bands in the world, Besses o’ th’ Barn Brass Band will take centre stage at midday, with Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – a quirky band in celebration of Tony Wilson, fusing New Orleans travelling band with 90s club classics - appearing at 2pm. Calaita Flamenco Son will bring a dash of European musical flair to the party with their mix of authentic, traditional and contemporary flamenco at 4pm, while Dr Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band’s mix of ragtime, swing and jazzy blues at 6pm is sure to have street party goers off their picnic blankets and onto their feet.

Bring along a picnic or sample a variety of street food including hot dogs from Fat Annie’s, Cantonese dim sum from DimSumsu, Vietnamese street food from Viet Shack and Bunny Chow - a South African dish which fills a sourdough loaf with goulash, pulled pork or curry – from Matilda’s. First Street hotel, INNSIDE by Melia, will be serving up a variety of complimentary Spanish fayre from its Gazpacho station, along with drinks from the Tweed Brewing Company and its restaurant and bar will be open all day. For those seeking a tipple, Vin Van Voom will be serving up a selection of fine wines and fizz, while HOME will be serving beer alongside pizza straight from its outdoor pizza oven. And for those with a sweet tooth, head to Ginger’s Comfort Emporium for ice-cream with a twist or Coffee Cranks Cooperative for coffee and cake.

Rooftop Garden Party – Q-Park First Street
Kick back in a deck chair with a Mr Flavours’ cocktail in hand and enjoy the spectacular Manchester cityscape from the roof of Manchester’s newest car park, Q-Park First Street, which will be hosting a garden party with ambient grooves from some of Manchester’s finest DJ’s including Mof Gimmers (FREEK’N), Howling Rhythm, Red Laser Disco and Thom Docking (Drunk At Vogue/Hotspace) from 11am – 8pm.

See Time Out Manchester's guide to HOME

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