CHILDREN flocked to Bolton town centre to catch a glimpse of the — giant — Easter bunny.

The seasonal all-day “Eggstravaganza”, which also featured appearances from Eggwina the giant chick, took place between Bolton Market, Victoria Square and the Market Place.

A major draw on the Square proved to Dr Zoolittle’s Interactive Animal Experience, run by Bryan Paterson.

Children were encouraged to hold baby ducks and chicks in their hands and meet Charlie and Chip, a pair of chinchillas. Rabbits and guinea pigs also formed part of the attraction.

Mr Paterson, who came to Bolton from Bridgnorth in Shropshire, said: “The kids are really lapping up having contact with the animals.

“It’s great for them to be able to see the wildlife and interact with it. It helps them develop an awareness of how wonderful the animal world is.”

Nurse and mother Joanna Mark, aged 36, travelled to Bolton from Oldham with her son David, aged three, to join in the fun.

She said: “The animals are proving to be very popular.

“It was difficult to see them at first because there were so many other families crowding round, but it was worth the wait.

“I don’t understand why people knock Bolton town centre. If you think this is bad, you want to see Oldham.”

Kearsley sisters Katie Fletcher, aged 23, and Tara Fletcher, aged 26, brought their extended family, including four children into town to see the animals.

Katie said: “It’s fantastic. The children love seeing the animals.”

Meanwhile, youngsters climbed aboard the “Eggspress” train nearby which ferried families to the Market Place.

The train was run by Smiley Trains, run by Zak “Tiggy” Latham and his daughter Chloe, aged 14.

He said: “People love travelling miniature train. The seats have been full the whole time we were running, but that is not surprising because it’s a free service.”

TV character Shaun the Sheep — watched regularly by millions on the CBBC channel — made half-hour appearances at the Market Place, Victoria Square and Bolton Market.

And an Easter egg hunt started at the market before youngsters searched for clues in shop windows around the town centre.