Bolton’s annual Food and Drink Festival is back and it’s bigger and better than ever.
This year’s event is being held from today (Friday, August 28) to Sunday, August 30.
This year the festival will be opened by one of Bolton’s most famous chefs Paul Heathcote. He joins a host of other top chefs taking part, including celebrities James Martin and the Hairy Bikers.
Paul said: "I am thrilled to be opening this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival because there is so much on offer. Whether you’re a complete food novice or a food expert there is something for everyone. Being born and bred in Bolton I know how passionate people are about good food. The festival will be a great chance for people to experience and appreciate our local produce as well as sampling new tastes and cuisines."
The three-day foodie fest promises a range of mouthwatering events to tempt all tastebuds.
Hairy Bikers Simon King and Dave Myers will be roaring into Victoria Square at 10am on Saturday, August 29 accompanied by a cavalcade of 10 trikers. The Boom trikes have been supplied by Boom Trikes, based in Worsley. The boys will be doing a series of cooking demos in the Rangemaster cookery marquee in Victoria Square. They will also be paying a visit to Bolton Market to check out the fresh, local produce on offer.
James Martin will showcase his culinary skills on Sunday. Tickets for all the celebrity chefs’ demonstrations have sold out.
Simon King said: "We're really excited about coming to Bolton for the festival this year. A big thumbs up for events like this as they play a very important role in supporting quality local produce."
There’ll be lots of free demos in the marquee throughout the festival, from chefs including Anjali Pathak, Mike Harrison and John Benson Smith. Other highlights include Ready, Steady, Cooking Councillors, the political omelette challenge, on Friday.
Visitors attending on Saturday will also be offered alcohol free ‘mocktails’ served up by a bartender in Victoria Square, to get people thinking about how much alcohol they drink and to cut down if they are drinking too much.
A continental market featuring more than 70 European traders and local producers will sell everything from food and drink to arts and crafts, in Victoria Square and along Oxford Street, throughout the festival.
French stallholders will be selling a range of goods including exotic fruits and vegetables, cheeses, pottery, jewellery, jam and wines. Sweets, shoes, spices and soaps will also be on offer.
And council chiefs have secured the services of market supremo Arnd Baggen, who has been trading at the popular Manchester Christmas Markets for more than eight years.
He will bring a host of stallholders to Bolton for the first time, with his traders hoping to tempt customers with authentic German food and drink all served up from traditional wooden chalets. A beer garden will play host to a Bavarian beer house selling specialist German brews and wines. Bavarian cheeses and pancakes will also be on sale.
The market will be in operation from 10am to 6pm. The beer garden will open until 9pm on Friday and Saturday, and until 6pm on Sunday.
A variety of street theatre and music will be laid on for visitors throughout the festival and local restaurants are also joining in the fun and putting on a range of events and special offers, many of which extend into September.
Highlights include a special Greek music and meze night on Friday August 28 at the Sokrates Greek Taverna, on Winter Hey Lane, in Horwich. A wide selection of beers, real ales and continental lagers are up for sampling at the Holiday Inn on Higher Bridge Street on Saturday 29 and Sunday August 30, from noon to 11pm.
Councillor John Byrne, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development, said: "Year on year, the festival is growing and we anticipate this year’s festival will be a real success. We’ve got three days jam packed full of events and entertainment, with cooking demonstrations by top chefs, and special events and offers taking place throughout the town. People should make the most of the opportunity to see so many of Europe’s finest food producers in one place and join in the fun."
The event is sponsored by Warburtons, Bolton’s family baker.