FOODIES get ready — Bolton Food and Drink Festival is just around the corner.

About 130,000 people are expected to come to Bolton this weekend to enjoy the event, now in its ninth year.

Shoppers in Victoria Square yesterday got a taste of what is in store this bank holiday weekend, as workmen set about assembling the main festival marquee.

The tent will be one of the hubs of activities from this Friday, on top of more than 100 food stalls set to line the town centre streets and in Bolton Market throughout the festival.

Celebrity chef Michael Caines will kickstart the event in the festival marquee on Friday, with a free demonstration of classic dishes.

He is one of dozens of food connoisseurs to attend this year’s festival over four days, with other famous faces including James Martin, Michael Caines, Debbie Hall Evans and Gino D’Acampo.

Street entertain-ment, live music and family-friendly activities in Crompton Place shopping centre will also be on offer over the four days.

Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said there was something for everyone at this year’s food and drink extravaganza.

He added: “It’s all systems go for our much-loved food and drink festival. We’ve got a busy week ahead of us with preparations already under way.

“A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get ready for the festival to make it a success. We’ve got a great mix of events for all the family.

“There are also still a few tickets left for the celebrity chefs, so I’d urge people to snap them up while they can.”

Also on the cards is a star-studded gala dinner, with seven courses prepared by top chefs, which will take place on Friday at the Holiday Inn in Higher Bridge Street. There are still tickets available for £55 per person.

For more information about this event, celebrity chef demonstrations and more, visit


Tickets are still available to watch celebrity chefs in Victoria Square from

  • Saturday — Gino D’Acampo (11am, 1pm and 3pm);
  • Sunday — John Torode (11am, 1pm and 3pm);
  • Monday — James Martin (11am, 1pm and 3pm).

All the tickets to see CBBC star Katie Ashworth, who is appearing every day at the festival, have been snapped up.

Free demonstrations

Friday: Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market: 

  • 11am — Aazam Ahmad, BBC Fusion Chef;
  • 2pm — Friends of Fun Food (Urban Outreach).

Friday: Marquee on Corporation Street:

  • 11am — Cookery competition
  • 2.30pm — Michael Caines

Friday: Main Festival Marquee on Victoria Square:

  • 1pm — Michael Caines;
  • 2.30pm — Aazam Ahmad, BBC Fusion Chef;
  • 3.30pm — Debbie Halls Evans.

Saturday: Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market:

  • 10am — Sean Wilson;
  • Noon — Friends of Fun Food (Urban Outreach);
  • 2pm — Sean Wilson

Saturday: Marquee on Corporation Street:

  • 10am — Carol Brown (chocolate masterclass);
  • 11am — Cocktails;
  • Noon — Sean Wilson;
  • 1pm — Michelle Gillott (chocolate masterclass);
  • 2pm — Carol Brown (chocolate masterclass);
  • 3pm — Jackie Kearney;
  • 4pm — Justine Forrest.

Sunday: Marquee on Corporation Street:

  • 11am — Phil Bianchi — Gift of Oil master class;
  • Noon — To be confirmed;
  • 1pm — John Wilkinson and Tom Gardner;
  • 2pm — Aiden Byrne;
  • 3pm — John Wilkinson and Tom Gardner.

Monday: Marquee on Corporation Street:

  • 10am — Andrew Nutter;
  • 11am — Jon Jones (Farmers’ Arms);
  • Noon — Andrew Nutter;
  • 1pm — Ernyst van Zyl (Lord Clyde country pub, 
  • Cheshire);
  • 2pm — Andrew Nutter;
  • 3pm — Alain Job (owner of Nkono from Bolton Market).