A selection box of local talent is to be unwrapped at this year’s Christmas Lights Switch-On.
From popular Indie bands The Jade Assembly and Our Fold, to songs from Disney’s Frozen and the playing of ukuleles, the two hour live show will be sure to get people in the mood for a bumper Christmas in Bolton.
The big switch-on takes place in Victoria Square on Thursday, November 20 with CBeebies star Katy Ashworth flicking the switch at 7pm with Father Christmas and the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Martin Donaghy.
From 5pm, crowds will be treated to a free concert featuring Bolton groups Lime Chase, The Secrets, The Jade Assembly and Our Fold.
Solo performances will also be delivered by young singer songwriter Dharma; chart-topper Redd; teenage singer Jenna Taylor; and Matilda Carroll and Tayla Cottom from Bolton Little Voices.
There will also be performances from the cast of the Albert Halls pantomime, Cinderella; Bolton Children’s Workshop; and Bolton Ukulele Group.
Following the evening’s entertainment, guests and performers will welcome the arrival of Father Christmas and the traditional festive parade ready for the switch-on at 7pm.
The parade leaves Churchgate at 6.25pm and arrives in Victoria Square at around 6.45pm.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris said: “We always look forward to Bolton’s Christmas Lights Switch-On as it marks the start of festivities in the town.
“Over the years it has grown and grown and we’ve been fortunate to secure some well-known celebrities to help us switch on the lights, but also it gives our young musicians the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“We’ve got an extremely talented and varied line-up this year, with a number of acts who are already making their way in the music world. Existing fans – and new ones – are in for a treat.”
The event will end with a spectacular fireworks’ display from the roof of the town hall and there will be an opportunity for shoppers to meet Katy Ashworth after the event at Market Place Shopping Centre, who are this year’s sponsors of the switch-on.
Nikki Wilson-Cook, Market Place Shopping Centre manager said: “We are gearing up for Bolton’s Big Light Switch on, which promises to be an evening of family entertainment. We are especially looking forward to welcoming Katy Ashworth to the centre, after the switch-on, to ‘meet and greet’ with her many fans.
“While in the centre, why not bring the children to our Central Park Fun Fair and enjoy a touch of New York fun. Rides are £1 and there will be a carousel, swing boats, Santa’s train and lots more. Plus, shoppers have plenty of time afterwards to start their Christmas shopping as it’s late-night shopping at Market Place until 8pm.”
Gary Drury from Our Fold said: “It’s beltin’ that Our Fold has been asked to play our home town Christmas Lights Switch-On this year. The event will be a great kick-start to Christmas in the town centre, and also a good start to our Christmas gigs as this event always has a great turn out.
“We’re going to be performing a short acoustic set featuring a few our latest releases… or are we? We might have a surprise up our sleeves! We hope to see you there.”
Bolton Council has organised a full programme of Winter Wonderland attractions in the run-up to Christmas, including a giant snow slide and ice rink from November 29 to January 4, a 100ft Ferris wheel from December 11 and Santa’s grotto from November 29 to December 21.
Late night opening in the town’s shops will also start on November 20, so people can do their Christmas shopping.
For more information about what’s on this Christmas, check out the Visit Bolton website.