An eight-week celebration to strengthen community ties in Bolton is launching this Saturday (June 20).
The One Bolton Festival has been organised by Bolton Council and its partners with the aim of bringing people from the borough’s diverse communities together. The event is sponsored by the Bolton and District Hospital Saturday, a not-for-profit insurance company.
A stage is being erected on Victoria Square for a spectacular opening event celebrating local arts. The day will also see the official launch of Bolton FM, the town’s first community radio station, who will broadcast on 96.5fm.
Taking centre stage at 11am are 12 drummers, from the Dhol Academy who have performed in large festivals across the country. A giant mobile dhol drum measuring 14ft by 10ft, which turns into a three tier stage will also be on show. The drummers will put on a 20-minute performance, before putting on another show at 1pm which will proceed on to Churchgate.
Other acts featuring on the day include a blend of local community groups performing music, dance and street theatre. Highlights include a Sudanese dance, song and fashion show at 11.30am, an Eastern African traditional dance at 12.15pm and a performance by Hushhh, a group of sign singers, at 2.15pm.
Westhoughton will also be hosting the Howfenfest, a music festival promoting local talent, on the same day from noon to 9pm in Central Park. See howfenfest.co.uk for information on where to purchase tickets.
Other highlights throughout the eight-week spectacular include the Horwich Carnival Races on Sunday, June 21; the Churchgate Summer Festival, which runs from Saturday, June 20 to Sunday, June 28; the Spirit of Bolton, an event organised by faith groups and the Interfaith Council to promote the positive multicultural image of Bolton on Saturday, July 4 and the Blackrod Scarecrow Festival on Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5.
Events will continue until the second week of August when the festival will conclude with a spectacular finale weekend featuring high-energy street dancers and the Bolton Mela.
Leader of Bolton Council Councillor Cliff Morris said: “We’re proud of our diverse community base and this festival will promote all that’s really great about Bolton. Two years ago the National Institute of Community Cohesion recognised that we were at the forefront for building community relationships but recommended that we needed to be more inclusive. We’ve taken that on board and decided to bring together a festival of events together under the banner of ‘One Bolton’. With history, art, culture and music there will be something for everyone throughout the next eight weeks. This Saturday’s event should be a real crowd puller and hopefully promote community spirit.”
Bolton and District Hospital Saturday’s Business Development Manager Dr. Jane Barber added: “We are delighted to sponsor the One Bolton Festival, because we believe the ethos and rationale behind this Festival marries perfectly with our own. Since we started in 1877, we have been all about assisting people within the local communities in Bolton - whether by helping them meet the cost of everyday healthcare or by making regular donations to local charities. We want to make sure that people know our products and services are as relevant today as they ever were, and are an affordable option, for all sectors of the community."
Visit the link above for more information on all events.