A giant snow slide will once again be the star attraction in Bolton town centre this Christmas.
Thousands of thrill seekers enjoyed the slide last year and council chiefs are bringing it back as a highlight of its Winter Festival 2017 programme.
The Christmas spectacular has been organised by Bolton Council in association with the University of Bolton to draw people into town. The Santa’s grotto is also sponsored by Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery.
From December 2 to January 7, 2018, two giant attractions will form the centrepiece of the event.
Newport Street will see the return of the popular 55-metre artificial snow slide. The slide has proved to be a hit since it was introduced three years ago.
Victoria Square will host a covered ice rink, which can hold up to 180 people. The popular Penguin Club offering parent and child ice skating sessions will return every weekend, and every day from December 21 to January 7 only.
A traditional nativity scene will also be in Victoria Square and children can visit Father Christmas on Oxford Street in his new gingerbread themed grotto.
From December 9 to 20, shoppers can soak up the atmosphere at the festive Christmas Market in and around Victoria Square, offering a range of quality food, drink and local produce. A festive bar will sell mulled wine, bratwurst and a range of festive refreshments.
Families will have fun hopping aboard the Santa Express train for a ride around the town centre, with a new extended route from the Market Place Shopping Centre to Bolton’s new transport interchange.
And a programme of local musicians and street performers will also entertain visitors over the festive season.
Tickets are due to go on sale on early November. Prices and times vary for the attractions. Visit www.boltonwinterfestival.com for more information, visit @BoltonWinterFestival on Facebook or @BoltonWinterFes on Twitter.
People can also buy tickets in person from a box office on Victoria Square, once the attractions open.
The Winter Festival programme will follow the Christmas Lights switch-on, sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre. Bolton celebrity Paddy McGuinness will do the honours on November 16.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “We have got all the ingredients for a marvellous, magical Christmas in Bolton.
“The lights switch-on is the start of a host of attractions in the town centre in the run up to Christmas. The Winter Festival has plenty to attract lots of people into the town centre and I am sure the news that the giant slide and the covered ice rink will be back will be hugely welcome. There will be lots for all of the family to do in Bolton town centre this Christmas.”
University of Bolton President and Vice Chancellor. Professor George E. Holmes DL, added: “Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and we’re proud to be a part of the council’s initiative which provides the community with the opportunity to come together and celebrate the festive season.
“The university is committed to supporting the local town, ensuring both students and residents enjoy everything this dynamic, multi-cultural town has to offer, and let’s be honest, what’s more fun than getting out on the ice?”
Retail Sales & Marketing Director of Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery, Sandra Ogden, said: “Christmas is a magical time of the year, and we are absolutely delighted that Bolton Town Centre aims to give a great Christmas experience.”