Kings and camels come bearing gifts 

Kings and camels
Three kings on camels will be coming to town

Three kings bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and …a 100 foot giant wheel…will travel into Bolton tomorrow (December 12) to help launch the second phase of the town’s Winter Wonderland.

The kings will arrive on camels to help the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Colin Shaw, to officially open the giant wheel and a four-day festive market at 12.30pm, before the wheel opens to the public.

The wheel, which can seat 144 people, will be located next to the 200 square metre ice rink in Victoria Square until January 5, 2014. The market, featuring 20 traders from across the North West, will be open on Newport Street until December 15.

Three Bactrian camels – camels with two humps which are native to Central Asia - will be in in town from 12.30pm until 6pm.

Other entertainment planned for the day includes performances from musical quintet Red Hot Santas at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm, and singers from the Bolton Music Service will be performing at 6pm and 6.30pm.

The free Santa’s grotto will also be open on Thursday. The roof of the grotto was damaged by high winds last week and has now been repaired.

The attractions are all part of a bumper festive package organised by Bolton Council to attract shoppers over the festive period. The ice rink has been in place since November 30 and has been a hit with young and old alike.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The giant wheel is a new addition to our winter wonderland programme this year and I’m sure it will prove to be very popular with people of all ages.

“If you’ve got Christmas shopping still to do, come along to our festive market. There will be plenty on offer including food, gifts and crafts.

“We’ve got a whole line-up of entertainment planned until Christmas and I’d encourage everyone to come along to join in the fun.”

Opening hours for the wheel are: Thursdays to Saturdays from 11am to 7.30pm, Sundays from 11am to 5.30pm and Mondays to Wednesdays from 11am to 5.30pm. The wheel will be open on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 11am to 4pm. It will be closed on Christmas Day.

The ride costs: £3.50 for adults; £2.00 for under-16s, and £2.50 for senior citizens and students. Family tickets at £7 cover two adults and two children or one adult and three children. Tickets can be purchased from a box office on Victoria Square. Joint tickets for the wheel and ice rink can be purchased from

Trading hours for the market are from 10am to 5pm Thursday to Saturday, and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. The grotto is open Thursdays, Fridays and weekends from 11.30am to 4.30pm until December 22.

Free parking is in operation weekdays after 3pm at Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon multi-storey car parks until Friday, January 10, 2014. Free parking is also available all day Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays until May 2014.

Bolton Council’s festive programme is sponsored by Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

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Salma Nakhuda
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