FINAL preparations are being made for what promises to be the biggest and best Bolton Food and Drink Festival to date.

The huge 300-seat marquee cookery theatre is now up in Victoria Square and the sight of the outdoor wooden beer tent is whetting the appetite of those looking forward to the sixth annual festival.

Two Michelinstarred chef Michael Caines will open the food spectacular tomorrow with a free demonstration in the AGA Rangemaster cookery theatre at 12.30pm, with a further demo at 2pm.

Celebrity chefs the Hairy Bikers, Gino D'Acampo and James Martin are all set to appear over the Bank Holiday weekend.

All of them have legions of fans from their television appearances. New this year is luxury department store Harvey Nichols, opening a pop-up restaurant in the vacant Olive Press premises in Nelson Square. A host of other top chefs will also give free hourly demonstrations in Bolton Market and in the Market Place between 11am and 3pm.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris said: “The festival has established itself as a key food and drink festival to attend for foodies across the country.

“This year’s event really is bigger and better than ever and there will besomething for everyone.”

A speciality market featuring 80 traders from across the UK will take over Victoria Square, Oxford Street and Deansgate, open from 10am to 5pm.

People can choose form handmade chocolates, cupcakes, homemade soup, luxury jams and street food.

A variety of street performers will also entertain crowds.

There will also be a four-day Cider festival at Ye Olde Man and Scythe.

A handful of tickets for cookery demonstrations for the celebrity chefs are still available and can be purchased from the Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400 or online from boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.