BOLTON Food Festival WILL go ahead this summer ­— but in a new online format.

The festival ­— organised by Bolton Council ­— will be streamed online this August Bank Holiday.

The virtual food fest will be live from Friday August 28 to Monday August 31.

It will be hosted on the festival website and social media platforms.

More details on the programme will be released in the coming week.

Last year the festival attracted 400,000 visitors over the four day event and it was awarded the UK’s Best Market Attraction.

Cllr David Greenhalgh said: “August Bank Holiday wouldn’t be the same without our fantastic festival – it’s the main event on our calendar and much loved by people from Bolton and across the country.

“While the crowds will be asked to stay at home this year, we are hoping to still share a little slice or two of what makes Bolton Food and Drink Festival so special.

“We have a completely free programme over all four days and the festival’s focus will be very much on supporting our local businesses and creative industries, as well as developing unique content that will be shared across social media.

“The virtual show will be a major step in developing a programme of online content, with some of it running right up to Bolton’s Christmas celebrations.”

Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2020 highlights will include:

• An online market place where visitors will be signposted to some of the festival’s popular traders as well as Bolton’s own market traders and independent food and drink outlets - available during the festival and in the lead up to Christmas.

• Streamed regional and celebrity chef cookery demonstrations as well as unseen footage from previous years.

• Special music performances from some of Bolton’s biggest and up and coming bands and musicians with 17 acts over four days.

• Children and families will be kept entertained with a programme of activities provided by Bolton Library and Museum Services including daily story-telling and family competitions.

• The icing on the cake will be a specially commissioned Festival cake, crafted by Bolton’s very own Kaye Gajra of Kaykes. It will be on display in Bolton Central Library and donated to local charity Urban Outreach after the weekend.

• As a further boost to local businesses, residents will once again be able to vote for Bolton’s best restaurant (won in 2019 by The Cherry Tree, Blackrod) and talented chefs across the borough will be asked to compete in a competition to create Bolton’s best recipe, with dishes going to a live ‘cook off’ in the Autumn.

Bolton’s first virtual Food and Drink Festival is supported by key partners including Warburtons and Bolton at Home.

Award winning distillers Defiance have also produced a limited edition Gin for the festival based on ingredients foraged from the Bolton countryside.