BOLTON Pride returns for its annual three day festival ­— packed with even more colour, fun and love as it celebrates its fifth year.

The town hall will be lit up in the colours of the rainbow and a street party outside the Market Place will signal the start of the event ­— the highlight of which will be the parade.

Event co-ordinator, Liz Pycroft said: “Having Bolton Pride as a family friendly event helps spread the word for a zero tolerance attitude towards hate crime and homophobia along with helping to educate the importance of inclusivity be it youth or older members of the community.” She added: “The family day has always been a day to ensure education is at the heart.

“We have so many interactive stalls, various sporting organisations, mental health and support stalls to engage with.

“Having such interaction with the public helps raise the awareness of hate crime, spread the word about equality whilst keeping it fun and family friendly.”

Organised in association with Bolton At Home and Bolton Council, the festival weekend ­— September 20 to 22 ­— begins with a Bolton FM street party on East Street outside the Market Place from 4pm.

At 8.15pm people will assemble in Victoria Square where the Rainbow Lights switch-on will take place.

The official Bolton Pride launch party will take place at The Swan, hosted by Misty Chance with live music from The Govans including special drinks offers.

Bolton Pride’s fourth parade ­— sponsored by the Post Office ­— will leave Queen’s Park at 11am on Saturday making its way up Spa Road, on to Marsden Road, Deansgate and Howell Croft North before finishing at Victoria Square.

The Main Stage will be officially opened by Tony Oakman, Chief Executive of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council with speeches throughout the day from organisations including the police and famous faces from television.

Kicking off the live entertainment will be the cast of Aladdin this year’s Christmas Pantomime at the Albert Halls.

Over five hours, there will be music and entertainment from Nadia Business, Andrew Curphey, Vegan Queens and Sam Dickinson along with headliners La Voix, Kevin Simm and Michael Rice.

The Market Place will place host to plenty of stalls and activities along with the Bolton FM Stage which will be programmed with a variety of live entertainment throughout the day.

This year the Alma Inn of Bradshawgate will host the Alternative Stage which will be raising money for the homeless. Live music starts from 8pm featuring LGBT+ bands including a range of music from skate punk to Rupaul’s Drag Race covers band.

The official Bolton Pride after-party will take place at The Venue on Churchgate where Garlands of Liverpool take over part of their 25th anniversary celebration tour. Tickets are £6 and include a drink available from or The Venue directly.

On Sunday, Victoria Square host a family fun day with live entertainment from 11am featuring headliner, chart topper, Tina Cousins.

Information about hate crime and how to tackle it will be at the Market Place.

Bolton Pride host a rainbow hunt for families to get involved with including flash prizes and the chance to be entered into a main prize draw.

From 5pm Great Ale in the Vaults will welcome the official camp quiz closing party.

Festival Director, James Edgington said: “We are thrilled to be delivering the fifth Bolton Pride Festival and have seen such a brilliant response from the community of Bolton for this festival, an event that has importantly become a key date in the Bolton events calendar. The parade brings so many people together including community groups and families, something that has been at the heart of Bolton Pride since we founded. Hate Crime Awareness is our ultimate mission and we have been lucky enough to work with some incredible partners that support us with this.”

For details of the full Bolton Pride 2019 programme visit