Update: Following last week’s severe weather we have had further forecasts of extremely high winds for the end of the week.
The festive market traders will now return on Friday (December 16) and not on Thursday as originally planned. However, the German beer keller and one trader will remain on Victoria Square due to being in structures that can withstand high wind strengths.
The musical train will also be in the town centre along with performers, Red Hot Santas, on Thursday between noon and 3pm. Other festive performers will visit Bolton Market and Market Place Shopping Centre between noon and 3pm.
Our intention is that the market stalls, reindeer and performers, will be back on Victoria Square as planned on Friday, unless the severe weather continues.
It is extremely regrettable that we’ve had to take this action again and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check our website for further updates.
Victoria Square will transform into a magical winter wonderland for eight days this festive season.
A packed programme will be laid on from December 8 to 11, and 15 to 18, to encourage more people to visit Bolton town centre.
Real reindeer will make a welcome return after proving a big hit last year. Shoppers can pet and feed two reindeer from 11am to 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 10am to 4pm at the weekends.
Father Christmas in his sleigh will be available for photographs on December 8 to 10, and 16 to 17, from noon to 2pm. A life-sized Hansel and Gretel house will also enchant children.
A festive market will entice shoppers with up to 30 local traders joining a selection of continental traders to sell food, drink and gifts.
Markets supremo Arnd Baggen will bring his Bavarian beer keller and hot food stalls selling Spanish paella and German sausages.
Local products on offer include: freshly prepared pizza; chutneys; relishes; bespoke hair accessories; homemade cupcakes, and handmade chocolate.
Visitors can board a musical train for free rides around the town centre, and entertainment from festive performers, including Christmas crackers singing carols and musical quintet Red Hot Santas, will also feature daily.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, hopes the programme together with free parking and late night shopping will draw in the crowds. He said: “We’ve extended our free festive programme to give local businesses a welcome boost in the run-up to Christmas. The reindeer were a huge hit last year so we’ve arranged for them to come on all eight days this year.
“There’s lot of other free activities and entertainment for all the family and the festive market is sure to be a draw. Free car parking in the run up to Christmas will help shoppers during the current economic climate. There’s something for everyone and I’d encourage people to come down.”
Free parking is in operation from 4pm on Thursdays and Sundays all day, until January 8, at Topp Way, Deane Road, Octagon and Bow Street multi-storeys, and surface level car parks in the town centre.