BOLTON’S Winter Wonderland has closed for another year after entertaining hundreds of shoppers and visitors.

Workmen have started dismantling the 100ft ferris wheel, which has stood outside Bolton Town Hall for almost a month.

The ride, which gave thrillseekers stunning panoramic views of Bolton, was the centrepiece of the Victoria Square festivities, which included a 200 sqare feet ice rink, Santa’s grotto and Christmas markets.

The temporary rink will be taken away tomorrow, while Santa has left his Bolton base after Christmas to head back to North Pole.

Cllr Cliff Morris, Bolton Council leader, said this year’s attractions put the town centre in the spotlight and were well received by shoppers and retailers.

He said: “The attractions were all part of a bumper festive package to attract shoppers and support town centre businesses over the festive period.

“The giant wheel was a new addition to our Winter Wonderland programme and we’re already thinking about how to make the next wonderland even better.

“We’re now looking forward to the other big events we have coming up this year, including the return of annual favourites such as Ironman and the Food and Drink Festival, along with new events such as the Transplant Games.”

This year’s Winter Wonderland enjoyed its fair share of drama, including when high winds forced the closure of the wheel and ripped off the roof from Santa’s grotto, leaving him to seek refuge in Specsavers.

An ambulance had to be called to Victoria Square after a collision on the ice rink left two children with neck and head injuries, while thieves also targeted the attraction to steal cash from the till.

Free parking is still available on weekdays after 3pm at Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon multi-storey car parks until this Friday.

It is also available all day Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays until May.