The dazzling full line-up for Bolton’s Christmas lights switch-on extravaganza has been announced.
Hollyoaks actor, X Factor finalist and Albert Halls panto star, Ray Quinn, will top the bill and has the honour of pushing the button to light up the town on Thursday, November 21.
Thousands are expected to attend and visitors can enjoy two shows on the night - the main stage in Victoria Square and a second community stage in Market Place Shopping Centre, who are sponsoring the lights switch-on.
Switch-on show highlights
The main festive show starts at 5pm in Victoria Square, compered by Jon Holling from Tower FM.
Key highlights include Bolton indie rockers Jordan Allen, playing with a new line-up, and the popular Rock Choir will be back singing three songs.
A performance from community dance group Bolton Allstarz Children’s Workshop will kick off the show, followed by 10-year-old singer Kallea, from Bolton Dance and Performing Arts College, who has co-written songs with international songwriter Darren Martyn.
Other community highlights include the Bolton Ukulele Group, a dance performance from Bolton Lads and Girls Club and a solo from singer Izzie Ingham. Ibby Ismail, Chair of Bolton CVS, will read out “Boltopia” – a poem he has penned celebrating our town.
Joining them will be Redd from Bolton, who has topped the charts across Europe and Asia, and the popular Rock Choir will be singing three songs.
The cast of the Albert Halls pantomime, Aladdin, will take to the stage with Ray before they join the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, and Father Christmas, to flick the switch and set off a spectacular firework finale.
The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: “I am really looking forward to this year’s lights switch-on.
“It will be a fantastic event and will get everyone in the mood for the exciting build-up to Christmas.”
Festive fun at Market Place Shopping Centre
The fun starts at 3pm in Market Place Shopping Centre, with Bolton FM.
Ray will be doing a live question and answer session at 3.30pm.
From 4pm to 7.30pm, the Market Place Stage will see performances from Bolton Allstarz Children’s Workshop, and singers Kallea, Redd, and Georgia Bradshaw.
Other highlights include Bolton Ukulele group, Izzie Ingham and Luke McColl.
Nikki Wilson-Cook, Centre Manager, Market Place added: “We are delighted to be supporting Bolton's Christmas Lights switch-on again - an event which totally embodies the spirit of Christmas.
“Ray is the perfect local star to turn on our town’s lights and I can't wait to witness the festive excitement on the night.”
A colourful parade will wind its way through to Victoria Square from Churchgate and Market Place Shopping Centre.
From 6.10pm, a parade featuring 100 schoolchildren with handmade lanterns, street performers, Father Christmas, and the Mayor and Mayoress will leave Churchgate, processing down Deansgate.
Dozens of imaginative lantern creations crafted by community groups, and street performers will leave the Market Place Shopping Centre at 6.15pm.
Both parades will join at the junction with Market Street before arriving in Victoria Square at 6.25pm.
There will be free parking after 3pm in the Octagon, Topp Way and Deane Road NCP multi-storey car parks on the night.
Free weekday parking after 3pm will continue until January 3 in these car parks, as well as free parking on weekends and bank holidays.
Get involved with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on using #BoltonXmasLights.
A full programme of Christmas fun will be coming to Bolton – details will be revealed over the coming days.
Keep up to date online:www.boltonwinterfestival.com, like Bolton Winter Festival on Facebook or follow @boltonwinterfes on Twitter.
Book tickets for Aladdin at the Albert Halls Bolton online or call 0843 208 0500.
Victoria Square stage
From 5pm to 6.25pm: Bolton Allstarz Children’s Workshop; Kallea - 10 year old singer; Bolton Ukulele Group; Bolton Lads and Girls Club dance performance; Izzie Ingham solo singer; Luke McColl - solo acoustic; Jordan Allen – band; Redd – singer; Ibby Ismail - poetry reading
6.25pm: Parade arrives at Victoria Square, followed by The Rock Choir
6.40pm: Pantomime performance with Ray Quinn
6.55pm: Mayor Cllr Hilary Fairclough on stage with Father Christmas
7pm: Lights switch-on and fireworks
Market Place stage
3pm to 3.30pm: Bolton Allstarz Children’s Workshop and Christmas performers
3.30pm to 4pm Ray Quinn Q&A
From 4pm to 7.30pm: Kallea – 10-year-old singer; Redd – singer; Georgia Bradshaw – singer; Bolton Ukulele Group; Izzie Ingham solo singer, and Luke McColl – solo acoustic.