THE Bolton Beer Festival got off to a rip-roaring start with more than 1,000 people enjoying the first two nights of fun.

Ale fans were queuing up outside a huge beer tent at Bolton Rugby Club in Avenue Street, Bolton, on Wednesday evening and their enthusiasm for more than 200 beers of all varieties continued into yesterday.

Organisers said they were expecting 6,000 visitors before last orders are called tomorrow evening and that they hoped to raise £40,000 for Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Clive Nightingale, who organises the festival with a team of 20 other volunteers, said he could not believe how far the event had come since it was first put on at the Howcroft Inn in Pool Street in 1993.

He added: “The size of the event now is testament to the hard work of the volunteers and the countless others who support us.

“To see so many people out tonight enjoying the fun is wonderful.”

John Sherrington, a senior partner at Serious Law, based in Chorley Street, Bolton, added: “We’ve been delighted to support this event for the last 19 years and I’m so proud to see it back again.

“Clive and the others do a great job and the sheer selection of beers on offer for people is brilliant.”

Bolton Lads and Girls Club chief executive Karen Edwards praised Mr Nightingale and his fellow organisers on Wednesday evening.She added: “Without fabulous events like this, we simply couldn’t continue to support 3,000 young people in Bolton.

“This really has become a wonderful event on Bolton’s social calendar and it is great to see everyone having so much fun.”

The festival continues today from 7pm to midnight when entry will cost £7.

It also runs tomorrow from noon to 6pm, when entry costs £3, and from 7pm until midnight, when entry costs £6.

Visit for details.