Bolton to be transformed into winter wonderland
8:40am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
BOLTON town centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas when an ice rink is built in Victoria Square.
It is part of Bolton Council’s plans to attract thousands of shoppers to the town centre over the festive period.
Today The Bolton News is also launching a campaign to urge people to shop local, take advantage of the town centre and support local retailers, bars and restaurants during the run up to Christmas.
A Santa’s grotto, speciality market, street entertainment, real reindeer and a huge Christmas lights switch-on party, with the Hairy Bikers flicking the switch on the night, are also planned for the town centre.
There will also be thousands of free car parking spaces to help shoppers make the most of what Bolton has to offer.
Bolton Council leader, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “Bolton has got a spectacular line-up of events this Christmas. I’m sure the ice rink will be popular with visitors and it really will make our celebrations special this year.
“We’ve pulled out all the stops this year to make it a truly magical Christmas and I’d urge everyone to pay Bolton town centre a visit.”
The 200-square-metre ice rink will open seven days a week from December 1 to January 6. It will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Capital FM radio will provide the official ‘ice radio’ station to entertain visitors.
It is around 10 years since the town centre last had an ice rink at Christmas.
Parking spaces in four multi-storey car parks — Bow Street, Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon — will be free all weekend and after 3pm on weekdays from November 1 to January 27.
From December 1, the ice rink will open Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, Sundays 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday from noon to 2pm and 4.15pm to 5pm, and Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm.
From December 22, the ice rink will open weekdays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. It will be open on Christmas Eve from 11am to 4pm, and Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve from 12pm to 3pm.
One hour’s skating, including skate hire, costs £5 for adults; £2.50 for under-18s, and £3.50 for senior citizens and students.
Family tickets at £10 cover two adults and two children or one adult and three children.
Groups with 10 or more will get a 10 per cent discount.
All children under the age of eight must be accompanied by an adult skating. Children aged between eight and 12 must have an adult observing.
Tickets can be bought from a box office next to the ice rink. They can also be pre-booked at boltontowncentre.co.uk from Friday, November 16.
There will be 15 wooden chalets selling festive goods, crafts and gifts on Victoria Square from December 1.
The free Christmas lights switch-on show is in Victoria Square, on Saturday, November 24 from 4pm, with the big switch-on at 6pm.