A TWO month festival celebrating Bolton’s diverse communities is under way, after being launched in the town centre this weekend.

The start of the One Bolton Festival was teamed with the official launch of Bolton FM, the town’s first community radio station.

There will be eight weeks of events, ending on August 9, organised by Bolton Council and partners.

Bolton FM has been broadcasting on the frequency 96.5fm since June 1 but was officially launched by the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Norman Critchley, at the start of the festival in Victoria Square.

He said: “The festival is fantastic. We have needed one because Bolton has so much to offer. At last the town’s talents will be relalised and that will be wonderful.

“To have Bolton FM as well is absolutely brilliant, we as residents and the station need to make sure it’s a success.”

The first festival event was a performance by drummers from the Dhol Academy.

Enid Jones, aged 43, of Westhoughton, stopped to watch the show with her son, Bryn, aged 11.

She said: “I think they are very good and the festival is a great idea, it’s good to have something to bring people to the area, it will promote different cultures and appeal to people of all age groups.

Bryn, who goes to The Gates Primary School, said: “The drummers are really good, I’d like to have a go but I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good.”

Other acts on Saturday included a Sudanese fashion, dance and singing show and a performance by Hushhh, a group of sign singers. The two month event, which is sponsored by the Bolton and District Hospital Saturday, will also feature the Blackrod Scarecrow Festival and conclude with a finale weekend, including Bolton Mela.

cherry.thomas@ theboltonnews.co.uk