Communities across Bolton will help make the town shine when the inaugural Bolton Light Festival begins later this month.
The festival is a new event for the town and has been developed from the lantern parade that formed part of the Bolton Christmas lights switch-on last year.
It will see a series of light-themed performances take place across the town, starting on October 21 with events to mark the Hindu festivals of Dashehra and Diwali, and culminating in the Christmas lights switch-on lantern parade on November 22.
Other events include a spectacular light display projected onto Bolton Town Hall on November 16 and 17, funded by Bolton at Home. This event will mark the 21st anniversary of Bolton at Home’s Percent for Art initiative which has championed arts and creativity in the borough.
As part of the festival, 10 community groups from across Bolton will each put on their own light-themed arts performances after Bolton Light Festival organisers helped them secure Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) arts funding.
Gaynor Cox, housing arts officer at Bolton at Home, said: “The Bolton Light Festival will be a celebration that involves as many people as possible from communities right across the town. It’s about bringing people together and promoting Bolton as a unique destination.
We look forward to seeing people from across the borough lighting up the town in a variety of creative ways, including dance, drama, film, music and poetry.
Bolton Council Leader and Greater Manchester Combined Authority lead for culture, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “As the nights get longer, I am sure the inaugural Bolton Light Festival will brighten up everyone’s winter as communities come together for a series of unique and enjoyable events.
“The festival is a great opportunity for everyone across Bolton to explore their creative side and get involved with the arts.”
The festival has been brought together by Bolton Light Festival Sub Group, which includes officers from Bolton Council, Bolton Libraries and Museums, Bolton at Home, and Bolton Hindu Forum, with project management support from Julie Levy, a Bolton-based arts and education consultant.
Community groups that have successfully bid for funding to support their displays include Bolton Interfaith Council; Bolton Lads & Girls Club; Bolton Smart Enterprise CIC; Live From Worktown; The Destitution Project; The Willows Centre; Withins Action Group; Bolton Station Community Development Partnership; Foxes of the Fold; and Bigger Picture Arts
Other key dates for the Bolton Light Festival are Bolton Hindu Forum’s ‘Sharad Purnima Na Garba’ dance festival on October 27, the Leverhulme Park firework display on November 2, lantern making workshops on October 31 and November 13 and the Museum and Library Night Code Breakers event on November 14.
A full list of Light Festival events can be found here.