Bolton’s annual festive market is back this Christmas – and it’s bigger and better than ever.
The event, which is being sponsored by Sky, was held for the first time last year in Victoria Square and council bosses vowed to bring it back if it was successful.
Bolton Council has now put together a packed programme of food and entertainment which it hopes once again will be a big draw for shoppers.
The market will feature continental food and drink; specialist regional producers; a giant igloo for children’s Christmas craft activities and a marquee for live entertainment.
Markets supremo Arnd Baggen is bringing hot European food and drink stallholders, including a Spanish paella house and a Bavarian Bierkeller selling German beers and wines.
The continental traders will be in operation every day from December 10 until December 19, from 10am.
Running alongside this from December 15 for five days, is the festive market featuring more than 20 traders from across the north west and fun for all the family.
There is plenty to tempt shoppers from home made chocolates; jewellery; handmade soaps and cards; old-fashioned cordials and jams and chutneys.
And many of the producers took part in the town’s successful Food and Drink Festival earlier in the year.
John Reedy from the company Reedys Naturally sells preserves and chutneys. He said: “We sell well in Bolton and it’s a very well organised market by the council. We’ll be in Bolton all four days, and we’ve got a full range of gifts for people to buy, including things like cranberry jelly.”
There will be family friendly activities in the giant igloo including face painting, magic shows and craft workshops.
Entertainment in the marquee includes the return of the musical quintet Red Hot Santas; life-sized Christmas crackers singing carols; street act Granny Turismo, a shopping-trolley team featuring two grannies and music from the Farnworth brass band and NoHow productions.
Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, said: “The market will be bigger and better than last year – we have more entertainment, better stalls and I am sure it will be very popular with visitors and residents.
“The continental traders are arriving early and a specialist food and gifts market will start a few days later. We want people to come and browse the stalls of fresh produce, continental treats and tuck into the hot food. There’s some great family friendly activities and entertainment for everyone to enjoy and I hope many people enjoy this unique shopping experience in the town centre.”