A brand new family zone will add extra spice to this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
The free ‘Children’s Food and Fun Emporium’ will open upstairs in the Crompton Place shopping centre for the festival, which takes place from Friday, August 23 to Monday, August 26.
Last year’s foodie extravaganza attracted 102,000 visitors and highlights this year include cooking demonstrations from Great British Bake Off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, and celebrity chefs Aldo Zilli, James Martin, and Michael Caines.
Alongside this will be free demonstrations by top regional chefs, a speciality market, and street entertainment.
Now in its eighth year, the festival is still growing and event organisers hope the new child friendly zone will be a further draw.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We’ve teamed up with Crompton Place to add this exciting new element to the festival, and we’re really pleased with their support.
“We’re always looking at ways of making our festival bigger and better to attract even more visitors to the town centre. Last year some of the feedback we had asked for more activities for children so we listened. We’re sure that the addition of the emporium will be a hit with families and hopefully bring even more people in to Bolton.”
The Children’s Food and Fun Emporium will be located on the first floor, above Boots. A packed programme of entertainment and games, and hands on activities are on offer to keep young audiences entertained.
Toddlers will be transfixed with the Octagon Theatre’s production of Michael Rosen’s classic story “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”. There will be songs, games and audience participation, and the show will be on daily at 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
Children can learn how to decorate cake and biscuits with Lancashire based baker Justine Forrest, who won the top spot in ITV’s Michael Winner’s Dining Stars in 2010. Justine will be holding half hour master classes on: Friday, August 23 at 12pm and 2pm; Saturday, August 24 at 12pm; Sunday, August 25 at 12pm and 2pm, and Monday, August 26 at 2pm.
Food craft workshops will also be on daily from 11am to 3pm. Children can learn to make pasta jewellery, fruit smoothies, and get creative making fruits and vegetable paint prints.
Entertainer Auntie Sally will perform a comedy magic show, featuring balloon modelling, music and puppets (times vary). Along with face painting and a children’s disco, there promises to be something for everyone.
Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place Manager, said: “Crompton Place is at the heart of Bolton and we are very used to welcoming families so I think the shopping centre is the ideal location for the Children’s Food and Fun Emporium.
“We value our place in the community and so it makes sense for us to team up with Bolton Council to help deliver a fun and family friendly food festival, and I have no doubt it is going to be a fantastic success.
“I can only urge our very loyal shoppers to come and make the most of our child friendly zone which will be packed full of entertainment for the kids, and be another welcome and free distraction during the long summer break.”
Crompton Place shops will also be joining in the fun in the Emporium. British Home Stores will give away goodie bags, Greenhalghs will provide cakes and biscuits for Justine’s masterclasses, and Deli Fresh and Greggs will be holding special promotions.
Tying in with the food and drink theme, a special screening of Ratatouille will also be shown at the Central Library Lecture Theatre at 2pm, on Monday, August 26. The film costs just £1 per person and tickets will be available to purchase on the day.
For details of more offers and to keep up to date with the latest festival news, log on to the website www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com, visit Facebook and search for Bolton Food and Drink Festival or search for #boltonfoodfest on Twitter.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival is organised by Bolton Council and sponsored by Bolton College, Bluemantle, Crompton Place, The Market Place Shopping Centre and Stateside Foods.
Our partners this year are The Octagon Theatre, Kro Bar, the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel, Bolton Market, and The Albert Halls.