Liverpool is getting ready for months of work to produce the “best party ever” when it hosts Eurovision next year.
The city has been preparing its bid since June and those behind the plans say “hundreds and hundreds of hours” have been spent devising plan which pays homage to this year’s winner Ukraine, which is unable to host due to the Russian invasion.
As well as the contest itself, a full cultural programme will be put on to welcome Eurovision to Merseyside.
Street art, fashion and community education are all set to be involved in the celebrations.
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “This is a massive event and the eyes of the world will be on us in May, especially those of our friends in Ukraine.
“Now begins months of work to put on the best party ever.
“Ukraine, you have my promise we will do you proud.”
The city is already famous for music as the birthplace of The Beatles.
Its relationship with sister city Odesa, in the Ukraine, is also said to have played a key part in the decision to choose it as host.
The city council said its Eurovision plans will celebrate the Ukrainian people and community.
There are also plans to celebrate Merseyside native Sonia, who came second in Eurovision in 1993 when she sang Better The Devil You Know.
Cut-outs of the singer will reportedly be placed around the city in a trail for fans to find.
The contest will be located on the city’s waterfront, the site of the M&S Bank Arena and ACC Liverpool conference centre, which hosted the Labour party conference last month.
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said: “Liverpool’s Eurovision team will now start to put their plans into action, which includes working with Ukrainian street artists and fashion designers, creating a Liverpool/Ukraine community education programme and developing plans to host a special culture trail featuring Eurovision and Scouse legend Sonia.
“A dedicated website will be developed in the coming weeks as will more details about how people can get involved in the run up to, and during, the event.”