Christmas arrived early for a popular town centre pub to bring the community together.

It might seem like a strange idea to celebrate the festive season five months early but the punters at The Balmoral did not seem to mind on Saturday.

The pub went all out with traditional decorations, live Christmas music, and a visit from Father Christmas rocking around the Christmas tree pouring out tipples of everyone’s favourite drinks.

Jennifer Hamnett was in her element dancing and singing along to Christmas songs.

She said: “It’s been really good, and the atmosphere is what brought me here.

“This is the best pub ever; I love it.

The Bolton News: Matthew Davidge and his partner Mariyka Bolubasz with their dog boo and their friendMatthew Davidge and his partner Mariyka Bolubasz with their dog boo and their friend (Image: Newsquest)

“It’s so good for any age.

“Some people are in their sixties here and then others are in their thirties.”

Deborah Powell and her friend Kerry Walker travelled from Atherton to join in the festivities.

She said: “I am loving it.

“I don’t mind what time of year it is; Christmas is Christmas.

“I think they should do something like this more often.”

Matthew Davidge and his partner Mariyka Bolubasz even brought their dog Boo along.

Matthew said: “It’s been really good.

The Bolton News:

“Boo has really enjoyed it.

“I did it in August at The Middlebrook Tavern when I was the entertainments manager, 11 years ago.

“We were just out and thought it looked really good.”

Mariyka added: “Sometimes at Christmas people don’t always come out, so I think this brightens people up.”

Loll Giles said that it was good for people to come together and have a laugh and hopes that there will be more mid-year Christmas parties.

Manager Danny Loynd started the tradition after it proved to be a hit for two years when he worked at The Griffin.

He said: “It’s just something different to what everyone else is doing.

“I thought it would be nice to bring everybody together and have a really big Christmas party.

“When we did it at The Griffin it was really busy, and people enjoyed it.

“And it’s been such a good turnout here.”

Danny also joined in the Christmas cheer by wearing an elf outfit.

The party also included a free buffet, disco, and a photobooth.

Danny said that the pub has not always had the best reputation but, since the Craft Union took over, it has been transformed.

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