December 10th saw the opening of Bolton’s very own Winter Wonderland complete with festive display and activity for all ages.
The town centre was transformed into a sparkling seasonal attraction for Christmas, with a giant artificial snow slide on Newport Street, a covered ice rink and a nativity scene in Victoria Square, plus a Santa’s grotto on Oxford Street.
The council has arranged the special Christmas programme, from December 10 to January 8, 2017, to attract thousands of visitors and boost town centre trade over the festive period.
The University of Bolton has sponsored the 55-metre snow slide and the town’s first ever covered ice rink is sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre.
The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Lynda Byrne will officially launched the festival at 11.30am at the ice rink, shortly followed by performances from professionals on the rink and the snow slide.
Later on in the day a camel parade, with three kings bearing gifts, then lead guests to the Market Place for a performance by the Rock Choir in the Vaults.
The attractions are now open to the public in Bolton town centre, promising a little festive spirit in the run up to Christmas. Opening times and prices vary.
A Christmas artisan market with a vintage bus bar and 40 traders selling a range of produce is also on Deansgate until December 11.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris said: “There is something for everyone to enjoy in our Christmas programme. The return of the snow slide is sure to be a hit, this year we have a covered ice rink, and the popular Santa’s Express will be back. People can do their shopping, have a great day out and park for free this Christmas in Bolton.”
The free Santa’s Express train will also be running on Sundays, from 10am to 4pm, until December 18. Two reindeer will also be on Victoria Square, located near Santa’s Grotto, on Sunday, December 11 and Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18, from 11am to 3pm.
Free parking is in operation weekdays after 3pm at Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon multi-storey car parks until Friday, January 6, 2017. Free parking is also available all day Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.
Tickets available online www.visitbolton.com/winterfestival and from the on-site box office on Victoria Square.
University of Bolton Vice Chancellor, Professor George E Holmes DL, added: “The Christmas holidays are a wonderful time for us to relax with our friends and families and celebrate the festive season.