PREPARATIONS are in full flow for this year's Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

The town centre is currently being transformed to cater for the hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the town centre for the annual event which is one of the biggest highlights of the borough's social calender.

Everything you need to know about Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2019 will be in this Thursday's The Bolton News in a special 16 page supplement.

Popular chef duo, The Hairy Bikers will be riding in to headline the four-day event, meet fans and give special cookery demonstrations.

They will join festival favourite James Martin who will be making his 11th appearance.

Greg Wallace and Michael Caines complete the celebrity chef line-up this year.

There will also be free demonstrations by well-known regional chefs who will be cooking up a storm in Bolton Market.

There will be a number of special events taking place including a "Comedy and Burger Night".

Hosted by BAFTA winning comedian John Archer, diners will enjoy a sumptuous burger while watching a live cookery demonstration by top chefs.

Spirits will be high during this year’s Gin and Rum Festival, with two sessions planned on the Sunday evening.

The main marquee will be transformed into a giant bar where guests can sample more than 50 craft and artisan drinks and hear from the experts on all the latest drink trends.

There will be a market of 200 traders, four bars, and live music on two stages ­—the Festival Stage on Le Mans Crescent and the Acoustic Bar in Victoria Square

The market will be in and around Victoria Square, Oxford Street, Market Street, Deansgate, Newport Street, and Hotel Street. Bars will be on Le Mans Crescent, Victoria Square and Deansgate.

Visitors will be able to enjoy drinks from The Festival Bar on Le Mans Crescent and Acoustic Bar on Victoria Square whilst watching the bands play.

Aldi’s Top Tipples Bar on Victoria Square will offer a range of Prosecco, wine and cocktails

Beer, cider, vodka, and cocktails will available at the bar areas on Deansgate.

Times and dates of all the special events will be detailed in Thursday's special food and drink supplement.

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “The festival is one of the highlights of the year, bringing thousands of visitors to the area and showcasing the very best Bolton has to offer.

“With such a diverse range of events taking place across the weekend there is sure to be something to interest everyone.