Have fun when Christmas shopping in Bolton 2013
21st November 2013
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Real reindeer, a free Santa's grotto and street entertainment will provide a magical experience in Bolton town centre this Christmas.

Victoria Square will be transformed into a winter wonderland from Saturday, November 30 and a packed programme has been organised by Bolton Council to pull in visitors to the town centre.

As well as a 200 square metre ice rink arriving on November 30, a giant wheel arriving from December 12, and a four day festive market on Newport Street, a whole host of other attractions will be on offer.

A free Santa's grotto will open on Victoria Square from November 30 until December 22. The grotto will be open Thursdays, Fridays and weekends from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Children will receive a free small gift when they meet Father Christmas. Prior booking is not required.

Real reindeer will also be making a welcome return to Bolton after proving a big hit for the last two years. Shoppers can pet and feed a pair of reindeer on Victoria Square every Saturday from November 30 until December 22, between 11.30am to 4.30pm.

And council chiefs have also organised a programme of free entertainment including The Red Hot Santas who will be performing festive funk, ska and calypso on Thursday, December 12 at 4pm, 5pm and 6pm.

Other acts include There√Ęs Nothing Like a Dame, a mini panto featuring the Ugly Sisters Rubella and Salmonella, who get their comeuppance from the wily Buttons. They will be performing on Saturday, December 7 at 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm.

On Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can also board a musical train on Newport Street for free rides around the town centre.

The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: "We've got something for everyone in the town centre this Christmas and together with the free parking we're sure this is going to pull in the crowds. There aren't many places you can go to where you get the chance to meet real reindeer, watch some great street entertainment, visit Father Christmas for free and then have a go at skating and ride a giant wheel. Bolton really does have it all this Christmas and I'd encourage everyone to come down and enjoy the fun."

Ticket prices and opening times vary for the ice rink and giant wheel. Tickets can be bought from a box office next to the ice rink or the wheel, or on the website for the rink only.

Free parking is in operation weekdays after 3pm and all day Saturday and Sunday until January 27, at Deane Road, Topp Way and the Octagon multi-storey car parks.

Bolton Council's festive programme is sponsored by Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

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