Bolton town centre transformed into 'winter wonderland'
11:01am Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
SHOPPERS flocked to Bolton town centre on Saturday to see Victoria Square transformed into a winter wonderland.
A skating Snow Queen kick-started the festivities along with teenage Olympic hopeful ice-skater Harriet Beeston, who performed on the 200-square-metre ice rink prior to its opening.
The rink is one of a number of attractions in Bolton in the run-up to Christmas, including a giant wheel, markets and reindeer.
Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw said: “There will be loads of great entertainment for people to enjoy. We are so lucky in Bolton for having so much going on. On December 12 the giant wheel arrives and there will be markets in Newport Street.
“Putting on these fantastic events is really important to encourage people to spend time in Bolton town centre.”
He added: “I hope everyone enjoys skating, spinning and shopping in Bolton.”
Fiona Oliver-Smith, from Oyster Opera, sang from La Traviata as she skated on the ice rink while shoppers looked on.
Harriet Beeston, aged 13, from Barnsley, inspired the audience with a performance to Sparkling Diamonds from Moulin Rouge.
She said: “I first had a go at skating on an ice rink like the one in Bolton when I was five years old in Bruges — I have loved skating ever since. Anybody who wants to skate should just have a go. I skate because it’s fun.”
Harriet trains 32 hours a week and hopes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Cameron Butler, aged six, from Tonge Fold, said: “I have never been skating before and I have always wanted to do it. I might be a bit scared when I try it. I want to be able to skate like the ice skater Harriet when I am older.”
Keith Davies, Bolton Council's director of development and regeneration, said he hoped the festive amusements planned for Bolton would attract people to the town and give them good experiences.
A free Christmas grotto opened and youngsters queued up to meet Santa. A miniature train carried shoppers around the square and real reindeer paid a visit to the town.
In addition, Bolton Town Hall opened the front doors to allow people the rare chance to go through the ceremonial entrance to attend Cllr Colin Shaw’s Christmas fair. It included charity stalls, games, gifts and activities.
You can see more pictures from the weekend here.
- The ice skating rink will be open until January 5. For more information go to visitbolton.com/winterwonderland.
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