Bolton town centre will transform into a Christmas wonderland this December offering festive fun for all the family.
A traditional Christmas market, Santa’s Studio and a live music stage will help visitors of all ages get into the seasonal spirit ahead of the big day.
All of this year’s Christmas activities have been planned to create COVID-safe environment for all visitors with appropriate precautions in place and advice on offer to keep everyone safe.
Christmas lights across the borough will light up on Friday, December 3 to mark the official launch of Bolton Council’s countdown to Christmas.
In line with public health guidance on large gatherings, there will not be a main stage “switch-on” ceremony this year.
On the same weekend, an Advent Trail will be installed in the town and district centres.
Residents will be invited to visit their high street to find the 24 images that will be on display up until Christmas Eve.
Each weekend in the town centre will see fairground attractions and the chance to see Santa’s reindeers along with a Games zone in the former Hays Travel unit, and a Craft Zone in Specsavers featuring magic shows, arts and crafts, arcade games and more.
Food and drink, including many seasonal favourites, will be available at the Festive Bar in Victoria Square from December 11 to 24.
The heated space will feature a live music stage with over 43 local artists along with local school choirs performing to shoppers.
December 11 also marks the launch of the innovative Santa’s Studio, an exciting and COVID-secure way for the little ones to meet Father Christmas.
Celebrating Bolton’s newfound success as the “Hollywood on the North”, children will visit a real TV studio, meet Santa’s helpers and chat with the man himself via a live link to the North Pole.
Each child will receive an early Christmas gift and the video can be downloaded afterwards to share with family and friends.
The Studio is open on December 11-12 and again from 18-24. Ideal for younger visitors, tickets are just £5 per child or £10 for a family of three.
If that wasn’t enough, the festivities will ramp up over the “Big Weekend” from December 16-19.
A traditional Christmas Market will see over 50 traders take up residence in the town centre for four days selling a wide range of gifts and treats, providing the perfect opportunity to finish the Christmas shopping.
On Saturday, December 18 the spectacular “Winter Owls” light show will be projected onto the town hall.
Building on the popularity of the Night Owls project, the specially commissioned display incorporates stunning winter scenes as the Owls come home to roost for Christmas and will be a real must-see event.
Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said:
“After a year off, Bolton’s Christmas celebrations are back and better than ever.
“We all deserve to have some fun this Christmas and with so much on offer in Bolton this year, there really is something for everyone.
“We want people to visit Bolton town centre and shop locally this December and I’m sure our seasonal offer will bring in the crowds.”
Tickets for Santa’s Studio will be available from the Christmas Festival website www.boltonchristmasfestival.co.uk from Monday, November 15.
This year’s Christmas events are sponsored by Bolton Gin Company, Bolton School and Robertson Facilities Management.