Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Forthcoming Attractions on Thursday 6th - Victoria Square and World Book Day

Thursday 6th sees the opening of Belfast newest shopping emporium - Victoria Square. And it’s also World Book Day! Update - Thu 6 Mar - it's now open.

By Tuesday lunchtime, the scene round Victoria Square was one of teenagers clearing up the family home in the minutes before their parents arrived back from holiday.

Ann Street turns into a car park in the rush to complete Victoria Square in time for the opening on Thursday 6 March 2008

Builders were clearing up their scaffolding. The previous attempts to keep vans off the paved streets had been abandoned. Pavements were being hosed down. Empty shops were being disguised behind colourful hoardings. Shelves were being stacked high with clothes. New staff were being trained on tills and store procedures. Window dressers were covering wooden boards with coloured displays to disguise less than glamorous interiors.

Jaffe fountain arrives back in Victoria Square ... taken on 14 Feb 2008

The newly-restored Jaffe Fountain was still half under wraps. The skips around the back loading bay were full to overflowing. Huge blue plastic figures had been erected on the pavement outside the main entrances.

Lighting trusses were being rigged for Thursday’s opening. No celebrity-only launch party. No. A 10am start, complete with Tap Dogs (humans from Australia, not canine tap dancers), the Ulster Orchestra, “a hard-hitting group of drummers” better known as LOL369 Slam! and two aerial acrobats from Cirque du Soleil (unfortunately referred to as Cirque de Soleil on the VS launch literature).

Stores open at 10.30am after the launch show, and remain open on Thursday and Friday until 9pm. (General opening hours: Mon/Tue 9am-7pm; Wed/Thu/Fri 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 1pm-6pm.)

The 8-Screen Odeon cinema doesn’t open until June. Neither does Northern Ireland’s first franchise of the Gourmet Burger Kitchen chain. And it will be a few months before the Apple Store opens up a suitably glass-fronted unit in the new Belfast complex.

World Book Day logo

Away from the opening ceremony and sound of cash tills ringing, a more sedate pursuit will be also be celebrated on Thursday 6th across UK and Ireland - World Book Day.

Many school children will be issued with £1 book tokens that can be redeemed during March, with £1 books available at bookshops and book wholesalers. Local libraries will also be participating.


Miffy said...

Who do they expect to come to this 10:30am show on a weekday? Truanting kids? DLA dependents? Very few working people are going to take the day off for that. Seems like they are marketing to the markets....

Anonymous said...

Oh there was a "celebrity" only party! It was tonight. VIP only. Champagne and all. Nice candle lit blue carpet was rolled out. (I wonder will that be there for the 10.30am opening tomorrow?!) Good old Eamon Holmes was there. Champagne and nibbles. I managed to nab a couple of glasses of champagne when I left work but got some looks from the "celebrities" that were wandering about. Shops were given the option of opening tonight after the show but all lights in the shops had to be turned off at 7.15pm SHARP before the start of it.

John Self said...

And House of Fraser had a families-of-the-staff preview night last night. My mother (not a family of the staff, but masquerading as one) sent me a text from the observation dome, all chuffed.

Miffy said...

My other half got invited to the 'celebrity' opening. He turned it down as celebrity in this country is a very open and tainted word.

ruthEbabes said...

My sister booked today off work to go to this :oS

Anyways I've tagged you


But if you don't wanna do it, it's alright, just feel free to ignore