GAMING stations, a pirate school, and magic shows are all on the menu for Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

The event, organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, runs from Friday, August 23 to Monday, August 26.

This year, the ‘Family Zone’ will open in the former BHS unit in Crompton Place Shopping Centre for the duration of the festival.

The unit will be transformed to cater for children of all ages visiting the festival.

Older children can play pool, pinball and table football. Gaming fans, including adults, can experience and try different gaming stations. A selfie booth will also be set up.

Younger members of the family can have a go at ‘The Great Pirate Adventure’, organised by Bolton Library and Museum Service.

Children can learn how to look, talk and act like a pirate, sing pirate songs, play pirate games, and even dig for pirate treasure in the giant sandpit. A baby and toddler area will also be available.

Experienced entertainer and magician Mark Daniel will be performing five magic shows each day to delight youngsters.

Entry to the zone is free, no pre-booking is required. At peak times there may be a wait to access some of the activities.

The Family Zone will open from 10am to 6pm daily. The Great Pirate Adventure is on from 10am to 4.30pm, and magic shows at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm.

Street performers will bring a carnival atmosphere with singers, dancers and magicians entertaining visitors on all four days of the festival.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “There will be a real range of activities for all the family to take part in at this year’s festival.

“The Family Zone will be at the heart of the event and will see the former BHS unit in Crompton Place turned into a huge children’s area.

“There will be something for everyone – from babies to teenagers. The pirate school is sure to be a hit with younger ones.

“There’s also something new this year for older children and even adults with the gaming area

“A wonderful range of entertainers will also be performing throughout the festival.

“Come and join us this August Bank Holiday weekend for some brilliant free family entertainment.”

Crompton Place Shopping Centre manager, Paula Wood, added: “Crompton Place Shopping Centre is delighted to welcome the new Family Zone at this year’s festival.

“The centre will be hosting free and exciting activities for children of all ages to enjoy and we are continuing the fun with our Ping Pong Parlour where families can play table tennis at no cost.

“While you’re here, why not pay a visit to all the great stores at Crompton Place such as Primark, Boots, Beaverbrooks and The Works to name but a few.

“We are extremely proud to be a main sponsor of such a fantastic family event, bringing Bolton town centre alive and the community together. We look forward to welcoming many to Crompton Place during the Bolton Food and Drink Festival.”

For updates follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook, @boltonfoodtest on Twitter or Instagram, #Boltonfoodfest

Festival headline sponsor: Aldi; Festival sponsors: Willmott Dixon, Crompton Place; Festival partners: Arts Council; Bolton at Home; Bolton Market; Bolton Library and Museum Services; Bolton School; Carrs Pasties, Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Impressions; Robertson; RRG Group Ltd, the University of Bolton and the Exclusec Group.